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foie gras help

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone -- I have an Anthony Bordain recipe I'd love to try, which involves pan searing foie gras slices and topping with a port wine reduction.  Sounds absolutely heavenly.  I've had goose foie gras in a restaurant in France - it was unbelievable.  But all I can find is foie pate.  Wondering if you can sear pate, or is it only the raw lobes that are seared? I'm imagining a couple of seconds too much, and I'll have foie gras sauce on my hands.  Also, it seems all I can find is duck, rather than goose - and from what I've read, it's not quite as creamy.  Thoughts?  Cook-E

post #2 of 5

Don't sear the pate if you aren't sure of how it's made.  Foie gras is beautifully rich, as I'm sure you're well aware.  The pate is likely much richer, and the consistency may not hold up well enough for a sear.  It might be possible to do, and if so, it could be very tastey, but I'd prefer eating the pate slightly chilled or at a room temp, as is generally intended. 


Cooking foie gras well takes some practice.  You'll want a well-seasoned pan brought up to heat.  I test the heat by placing the back of my hand about a 1/2 inch away from the skillet.  If it's hot enough to make me want to move my hand away fairly quickly, but not so hot that I could not hold it there for a while without being injured, it's a good temperature. 


The sear time depends on the thickness and density of your foie gras portion, the temperature and heat retention of your pan, the starting temperature of your fois gras, and the intensity of your heat source.  I generally don't like to sear foie gras that is any thicker than 3/4 of an inch.  You'll be looking for the foie to release itself from the pan, perhaps with a gentle jiggle of the pan, or, as a last resort, VERY gentle prodding.  The seared foie gras should be warm all the way through and of a slightly jellied consistency. 


If seared too long, it will soften too much and render, but all is not lost.  Strain and reserve the rendered fat for a wonderful ingredient for another dish.  If the poor foie gras has turned to mush, use it as an ingredient for something else, or get some toast or crackers and use it as a spread.  ...A silver lining meal, but certainly better than no foie at all, and a good learning experience smile.gif

post #3 of 5

CookE, never, ever try to sear a foie gras paté or as it's mostly called, a terrine, it's processed and ready to eat, cut in slices. When you try to sear it, it will completely melt within 30 seconds into a disgusting very grainy mass... such a pity of a lot of money and enjoyment.


You need a fresh, uncooked foie (=liver). Sear it in a hot non-stick dry pan (without adding any butter or any other grease). You need small 15-20mm thick slices. Sear max. 20 seconds or untill nicely browned. Same on the other side. Immediately out of the pan or it will melt; once the fat drips or runs out of the foie, it's ruined.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

All - Thank you SO, so much for all the helpful advice! !  I'll look for fresh.  Cook-E

post #5 of 5

Actually if it just says "foie paté" then it is completely unrelated to foie gras, it's just a paté made from regular foie. Spread it on a country bread, chop some cornichons on top and eat! wink.gif

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