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Foie Gras: The Topic


glenn
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I've had some very nice and very disastrous results. Needless to say, foie can be very easy to prepare but also very easy to destroy completely. Terrines are nice because you can totally mangle the liver and just smush (a very technical term) it all back together.

Since I'm pretty OCD I pass the foie through a tamis after soaking overnight in milk and removing the major veins. I know other people soak in sparkling water. Some people dont like to destroy the liver by passing it through the tamis but I've found that it comes back together just the same and is blessedly vein free. Granted, the veins won't hurt you, so the choice is yours.

There's a lot of good information in the cooking/curing from Charcuterie thread and the Terrine thread.

If you want to do a torchon, Keller's recipe is real easy and the standby for many. You might be able to Google it.

You're going to have to keep it tightly wrapped in plastic to keep it from oxidizing and drying out. It's foie though so it should be delicious that it doesn't stay around for long.

I like Keller's pickled cherries, kumquats, grapefruit marmalade, brioche, beet syrup, stuff like that. And Sauternes if you've got it. I love Sauternes.

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I use Hudson Valley C Grade exclusively now, A little flatter than A but works just as well.

Soak in milk to remove the blood. I remove only the most visable and easiest to get at veins for a terrine and don't worry about what is left. I use a cast iron terrine from Le Cruset and basically season and put into a water bath in the oven until about 170f is reached and then cool.

Probably the easiest and best is salt cured. Wrap your foie in cheese cloth, set in your terrine covered with kosher salt( I throw in some saltpeter for color preservation) put in refrig and wait. Pure heaven.-Dick

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Received the foie this am. Not sure what grade (not graded here in the UK), but seems to be A (no bile stains, no blood sploges). I deveined as best I could, but ended up breaking up the big lobe to do this. It's marinating in the fridge with Jurancon wine, fleur de sel, and pepper.

Problem....the foie is 700g, and I have a small Pillivuyt terrine mold. What should I do?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a few questions about foie gras that I hope someone will be able to help me with.

What is to choose between duck and goose foie gras...is it merely a matter of personal taste preference?

Is the foie gras you can buy in tins or jars good quality and if so, what are the brands to look out for? Or do the French generally avoid it ready-made and make their own?

How is it usually served - with drinks before a meal or a starter - and what do you serve with it? Last question, what wines go well with foie gras?

Any advice welcome....thanks.

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I have a few questions about foie gras that I hope someone will be able to help me with.

What is to choose between duck and goose foie gras...is it merely a matter of personal taste preference?

Is the foie gras you can buy in tins or jars good quality and if so, what are the brands to look out for? Or do the French generally avoid it ready-made and make their own?

How is it usually served - with drinks before a meal or a starter - and what do you serve with it? Last question, what wines go well with foie gras?

Any advice welcome....thanks.

Duck fat is slightly higher in saturated in fat. I have never has goose foie gras, but I find the fresh liver a little stronger. Duck foie gras is most available in this country.

Tinned foie gras is good on toast, and I especially like some French brands I have had (we are having some tonight - Labeyrie is good), but it is not the same experience as well sauteed fresh. Some French people do make their own, but good tinned foie gras is readily available.

Foie gras in its fresh form, in my opinion, is best seared on both sides. It can then become part of a salad (on top), eaten on toast points, sauced with mushrooms, port, etc. I generally think of it as a starter and like it with a sweeter wine like Sauterne or Monbazillac.

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I have a few questions about foie gras that I hope someone will be able to help me with.

What is to choose between duck and goose foie gras...is it merely a matter of personal taste preference?

Is the foie gras you can buy in tins or jars good quality and if so, what are the brands to look out for? Or do the French generally avoid it ready-made and make their own?

How is it usually served - with drinks before a meal or a starter - and what do you serve with it? Last question, what wines go well with foie gras?

Any advice welcome....thanks.

As Menton1971 points out, duck foie gras seems more readily available and I don't think I have seen goose foie gras on many menus, here in Paris anyway. I'm sure this is not the case in other parts of France. I have read that goose foie gras has a more delicate flavor and that duck foie gras is more rustic but not having much experience with goose, I can't really say.

I doubt the majority of French people bother to make their own foie gras since it is so readily available here.

Like Menton 1971, I can't think of anything better than pan seared foie gras, but love the "mi cuit" on toast as well. You will probably want to look for foie gras entier which is the whole liver. I have only bought foie gras from specialty shops so don't have any experience with the supermarket brands but as discussed here some brands can be pretty good.

Foie gras is normally served as a first course and is often paired with sweeter wines (as Menton mentions) like Coteaux du Layon or maybe a late harvest Riesling.

I have heard, and I hope Pitiopois can confirm this, that there is a certain etiquette to eating foie gras with toast. Apparently spreading the foie gras with a knife on your bread is a 'no no' and instead you are supposed to cut off a bit and place it on your bread without spreading.

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I have heard, and I hope Pitiopois can confirm this, that there is a certain etiquette to eating foie gras with toast.  Apparently spreading the foie gras with a knife on your bread is a 'no no' and instead you are supposed to cut off a bit and place it on your bread without spreading.

Thanks for this and any other oddments of custom whenever they are relevant. Even with the frequency of our visits to France, every day there we are sure that we commit some fauxpau or unintentionally do something that is considered rude or insulting. :hmmm: We will never be French, but the more one knows the custom, the more enjoyable the experience for everyone.

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Foie Gras is usely served as a canape or as an apetizer. Pate de foie gras is spread just like a pate since it is mixed with other ingredients. Foie gras entier however is sliced (can't really spread it even if you wanted to). When I was growing the popular foie gras to be had was the goose foie gras which seems to have been replaced in popularity by duck foie gras. Duck is more rustic and somewhat more flavorful...so I do prefer it.

Serve it with a sweet wine, although I enjoy my foie gras (and other do too) with a nice glass of a good bordeaux wine.

Lately the "fashion" in France has been to serve foie gras with a fig coulis or fig gelee. Nice touch, I have to admit.

Voila for my two cents.

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What is to choose between duck and goose foie gras...
Not a lot
Is the foie gras you can buy in tins or jars good quality
OK in quality, but why not buy it fresh at say Petrossian or their stand at the Galeries Lafayette?
How is it usually served - with drinks before a meal or a starter
At home, as suggested. At restos, as a first course.
- and what do you serve with it?
Toasted brioche.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Judging by the number of whole uncooked foie gras that all the supermarkets seem to sell quite a number of the locals seem to like to prepare their own.

I agree with John that its hard to tell the difference between duck & goose. Madam Boobie up the road where we get our duck foie gras says that she doesn't do goose foie gras any more because the geese are a pain in the neck to raise. Apparently the geese won't cooperate with a breeding time program; they prefer to do their own thing. Thus, they are far more seasonal than the cooperative ducks. Don't know if this is true, but it sounds right.

My favourite method is pan searing.

For a really decadent dish. Cook a magret in the normal way. Then sear a couple of slices of foie gras in the same pan & serve on top of the sliced magret. Sheer heaven. Especially when accompanied by a fine Bordeaux or Madiran.

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Thanks for this and any other oddments of custom whenever they are relevant.  Even with the frequency of our visits to France, every day there we are sure that we commit some fauxpau or unintentionally do something that is considered rude or insulting.  :hmmm:  We will never be French, but the more one knows the custom, the more enjoyable the experience for everyone.

One advice I sometimes want to give about France: just relax.

It's not a very formal country, and even the formal ones amongst us (I don't know many) don't really care if you do this or that any other way that you're supposed to. Many people don't even notice, or think of it. Many people don't even know how you're supposed to do things — when you are, that is.

I always remember my ex-husband (a waspy New-Englander) as we were staying with some Parisian friends (originally from the country) long ago. We had spent a lot of time at their place and one day, at lunch, he took a piece of bread and started mopping the gravy from the communal gigot dish. I wouldn't have noticed if one of my friends hadn't cried out: "Oh, Brad, that's wonderful! Some bad manners at last! We're so happy!" I think this is not an uncommon attitude in France, though it is more common in the country and in the popular classes. It is one of the aspects of the French I like the most.

About foie gras: yes indeed you do take little pieces and eat them on your bread one after the other, but this is particularly due to the texture of mi-cuit foie gras, which is firm and not easily spreadable. Also, they often serve it on toasted "pain de mie", which is soft, so spreading is out of the question*. When foie gras is spreadable (like foie gras mousse), well you do spread it. I think it has little to do with manners, at least originally.

* By the way, pain de mie is certainly not the best bread to serve with foie gras. The tastes and textures don't fit together. Better choices would be fresh crusty baguette or ficelle, or proper pain au levain toasted on one side.

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Judging by the number of whole uncooked foie gras that all the supermarkets seem to sell quite a number of the locals seem to like to prepare their own.

It much depends on the availability of the produce and on the regional traditions. In the Southwest and Périgord, many households make their own foies gras, confits and rillettes. And I've known Parisians with strong ties to their native Périgord to go back there every year in November to prepare "les foies gras", and drive back to Paris with their trunks full of sterilized jars.

I agree with John that its hard to tell the difference between duck & goose. Madam Boobie up the road where we get our duck foie gras says that she doesn't do goose foie gras any more because the geese are a pain in the neck to raise. Apparently the geese won't cooperate with a breeding time program; they prefer to do their own thing. Thus, they are far more seasonal than the cooperative ducks. Don't know if this is true, but it sounds right.

Goose is milder and more delicate, duck is slightly gamier and (IMO) tastier.

It's quite true that geese are harder to raise and Périgord always made it a specialty. One of my Périgourdin friends used to sneer when I'd tell her that foie gras was being made in other regions like Vendée or Normandy (that was about 15 years ago). She'd reply: "Sure, but they are doing it the easy way, they only do duck."

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Just a few notes. French goose liver production has decreased over the last 15 years while the production of duck’s liver almost tripled during the 1990’s. Difficulties to produce goose liver may be a part of the truth but the decrease in production (instead of a natural increase) is also attributable to the fact that it is less economically viable than production of fattened duck liver. The fattening process takes longer time for a goose. More important perhaps are the side products such as breast cuts, legs e t c that for ducks are popular and easy to sell for the producers whereas for goose these parts are not so easy to sell.

The Alsace region has historically also been a producer of fattened goose liver.

I agree with ptipois' description of the two produce although I think it is a pity that goose liver is a produce that is likely to more or less vanish since it has its important uses.

When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

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I forgot to comment on the bread. I agree with ptipois that pain de mie is rubbish with foie gras. I also have little preference for brioche, mainly because real brioche has the taste of butter and eggs (it should contain lots of it) and I cannot see how this can marry well with a great foie gras. So, no brioche for me. I prefer toast of a real pain au levain, preferably with a bit of acidity in it.

If the foie is a little tempered (it should IMO be a little at least as it is not ideal to serve it straight out of the fridge) I don’t mind spreading it a little (although it is not done easily) on a cracking toasted slice of a great levain bread.

When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

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There's an added dimension to the difference between goose and duck foie gras. Geese cannot be force fed by machines--they have to be hand held though the funnel is often machine fed--but ducks can be mechanically force fed by violent methods that can result in a lot of pain and 20% mortality. This is not common in France, I believe, but it is common in Eastern Europe whence a lot of cheap duck foie gras now comes. If such things matter to you, it's best to know your supplier. I've written more on the subject here.

Edited by John Whiting (log)

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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  • 9 months later...

Is there a producer of foie gras and related items that is considerd better than anyone else? Someone told me Comtesse du Barry is good, but I havent tasted it yet. But I do have two jars of the studd in the fridge from my last visit to Bordeaux :biggrin:

Here in Norway, Rougie is widely available. How does that rank among the good ones?

Edited by Christopher Haatuft (log)
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Is there a producer of foie gras and related items that is considerd better  than anyone else? Someone told me Comtesse du Barry is good, but I havent tasted it yet. But I do have two jars of the studd in the fridge from my last visit to Bordeaux :biggrin:

Here in Norway, Rougie is widely available. How does that rank among the good ones?

throughout Europe, Rougie is quality. they have 2 grades, both very expensive. If you are making terrines and pates, Hungarian goose is great and funny enough, Bulgarian is decent for terrines/ pates but not for searing...

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  • 3 months later...

I know it sounds completely crazy, but I have too much foie gras in the house and I don't know what to do about it. I've given the details here, but basically I have 180 grams of mi-cuit that I need to use in a way that can keep in the freezer. What would you do in my situation? And please, don't say just eat it!

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I know it sounds completely crazy, but I have too much foie gras in the house and I don't know what to do about it.  I've given the details here, but basically I have 180 grams of mi-cuit that I need to use in a way that can keep in the freezer.  What would you do in my situation?  And please, don't say just eat it!

Run it through a tami and mix 50-50 with unsalted butter and freeze. Use as necessary

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I know it sounds completely crazy, but I have too much foie gras in the house and I don't know what to do about it.  I've given the details here, but basically I have 180 grams of mi-cuit that I need to use in a way that can keep in the freezer.  What would you do in my situation?  And please, don't say just eat it!

In "Charcuterie" Ruhlman's got a recipe for a Foie Gras sausage - most sausage keeps well in the freezer due to the high fat content. I imagine this would be no exception. Alternately, I accept donations... :smile:

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Enrobe bite sized morsels in a freezable rich dough, for future appetizers? I can just imagine biting into a warm bite of rich, buttery bread, and having melty foie collide with my tastebuds.

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