Foie Gras

Here it is at last! The foie gras I’d been so looking forward to preparing and eating. The big question: was it worth it?

The answer: a definite YES!

Seared Foie Gras

This stuff is like heaven on a fork. Here’s the progression of how things went:

If you look at any posts this week, they’ll most likely be from our 2007 wine party. This was, I guess, the featured dish of the party (outside of the wine, that is). I’d been looking into whether I’m pro-foie gras or anti-foie gras in an earlier post. My conclusion was that I’m pro. So I put in my order, and the foie gras got here last Thursday.

Foie Gras is Here

Getting ready for the party, I had several things I was cooking, actually starting on Thursday evening. Saturday was pretty busy, with baking 2 kinds of bread and some crackers as well as fixing the mushrooms for crepes made earlier and prepping and grilling steak au poivre. With all the hecticity (yeah, not a word, I know), I realized that, even with my best intentions, I wasn’t going to get photos of everything. I just didn’t have the time. Part of this, as a result, is done as a recreation the next day.

The first thing I did was to remove the foie gras from the packaging and rinse it. I cut it in 1/2″ to 3/4″ slices. It was kept cold, and I used a very sharp knife that I warmed under running hot water, and the foie gras sliced very easily.

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I’d fixed brioche earlier in the day with the intent of using it for a base for the foie gras. I sliced the brioche and grilled the slices on a hot grill, just until it browned. I was half surprised that I didn’t burn any of them, and found that the slices didn’t need any butter or oil; they already had plenty in the dough!

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I knew that the foie gras would smoke a lot, so I didn’t really want to do it on the stove. Instead, I had the grill already going, so I put a pan on the grill, with the grate close to the coals, and pan seared the foie gras there.

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In a hot pan, the foie gras takes very little time to sear, about 30 seconds per side. I then put the seared foie gras on top of the grilled brioche and topped it with an onion relish I made earlier.

The onion relish is something I’m going to make more of to have around, but I didn’t get photos of it. It was really easy, though. I diced four large sweet onions and put them in a skillet with clarified butter (unsalted butter or butter and olive oil works, too). I caramelized the onion a bit, just getting some nice brown color, but not too dark, and I added some balsamic vinegar along with balsamic glaze with fig. The fig took this to a different place! I’m going to try some fresh figs with straight balsamic vinegar in the onion another time. I just put a bit of relish on top of the foie gras to serve.

Unfortunately, it started to rain, and my coals got a bit wet and cooled off, so I finished the last few slices inside.

Searing Foie Gras

Searing Foie Gras

The result was just great. One of our friends didn’t like the texture, which was fine; she tried it at least. Others seemed to really like it a lot, or they were just being nice. I still had some left over, as there was a lot of other food, too, so I wrapped it tightly in foil and froze it. I just pray that it freezes as well as I’ve heard.

Seared Foie Gras

So my conclusion on fixing foie gras the way that I did it is that I would do it again. And again. It’s really something special, which is why I won’t do it too often. Okay, the real reason I won’t do it too often is that it’s ridiculously expensive, but it’s also nice to keep some things special. It was very easy to do. I would be willing to try different forms of foie gras, but I don’t know that any would match that caramelized duck fat you get from searing the slices.

About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.

14 comments

  1. I have never tried foie gras and don’t have enough interest in it to actually spend the money and prepare it myself. But I would like to taste it sometime and this post really makes me wish that I could have attended your wine party!

  2. Nicole, the easiest way to taste it is to either find a restaurant that serves it or buy just a slice or two, which you can find at some markets or get online. You don’t have to buy the whole lobe.

    The party was a lot of fun, with or without the foie gras.

  3. Great article and glad to see foie gras still has its admirers over the pond! A word of caution though, you need to devein the foie gras with a sharp knife before slicing it, otherwise your pleasure might me jeopardized by bits of blood veins inside the liver. Have a look at my article to see how it’s done. Great blog by the way!
    Francois

  4. Francois, thanks for the advice and the compliment. I’d read that I didn’t need to devein when I seared, but I did remove any dark parts (vein) when I did it. I know it needs to be done when using it in other ways, though. It makes sense to just remove it anyway.

  5. Can I have the piece your guest didn’t want?

  6. I love foie gras,
    And I love the way you post every pictures showing the cooking steps!
    How wonderful!

  7. Amy, sure… I hate to have stuff like that go to waste. :)

    Cindy, thanks. If you like step by step photos, check out http://www.thepioneerwomancooks.com. Ree gets every detail with her camera.

  8. I am serving fois gras on Saturday that I brought back from a recent trip to the Langudoc area of France and Paris. I was looking online for kinds of bread to serve with the fois gras, and found your website. Thanks so much for your text and pictures!

  9. Susan, brioche went really well with the foie gras; it’s flaky and light and just a bit sweet.

    Let me know how it turns out… I loved the foie gras we had.

  10. Mr. FG, I don’t doubt that you do, since your site is all about foie gras. :)

    I’d like to see what the difference is between French and American foie gras. I don’t know about the treatment of animals in France, but I do know that the farms in the US treat them well, which is important, I think.

  11. Curt,
    Nice to hear from you and to read your text and to view your pictures of your own recent experience with grilled fois gras and brioche. I’m so impressed that you made your own brioche!— Brought back memories of my wonderful dinner party a year ago and your helpful suggestions.

    Last night we had a dinner party for 14 with Halibut that I had caught off Langara Island in the Pacific Northwest in June. The recipe is from Simply Bishops – Bishops is a fantastic restaurant in Vancouver. (he has a Web site) Pan seared and then roasted Halibut with a minted pea coulis.

    Regards,
    Susan

  12. Brioche wasn’t that hard to make… It just took a lot of butter!

    the party sounds great… I’ll have to look up Simply Biships.

  13. Beautiful piece of foie gras. I love the quality of the hudson valley foie gras. They have great product out there.
    I actually just put up a post on Dan Barber and foie gras… very relevant considering the current climate around forcefeeding to make foie gras. Check it out, it’s really an educating video.
    http://mylifeontheline.com/2011/11/04/dan-barber-foie-gras-parable/

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