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Foie Gras on a burger! cooking advice, please

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hi folks,

 

At my pub we do what we call an Exotic Burger. An 8oz patty of exotic meats like Camel, Kangaroo, Elk, etc.

 

I just received in an order today and I'm going something a bit different.

 

I received 20# of Waygu beef and a 1.5# piece of foie gras from Hudson Valley Farms in New York. I've never cooked foie gras before but my thought is that we'll slice it thin, sear it and put it on top of the Waygu burger. Since it's a pricey product I don't want to screw much of it up when I experiment with it. How thin of a piece can I use and still be able to taste it? At $30/lb I don't want to load it up on the burgers of course. And we're thinking that we'll put the foie gras on the slicer for portioning and then sear it on the flat top. Anything special need to be done to it when it's cooking? Hold off on the S&P or go ahead and season it?

 

thanks!

 

Dave @ Coasters Pub

Melbourne, FL 

post #2 of 20

Tasting a thin slice will not be a problem. Having a thin slice after sautéing/frying might be. It's mostly just a big hunk of fat to begin with so quick searing is about all you want to do or it may melt into a puddle. The best recipe is experience. Cut a piece off and make yourself a burger to try it out. I'd go with 1/2 inch thick to start.   

post #3 of 20

Ill concur with chefwriter, a slice a smidge under a  half inch thick is about what you are going to want.  Foie is a $15 upsell on tburgers in the lounge area of the restaurant I work at, and its about a 2 oz portion.

 

 

Sear foie in a reasonably hot, dry pan.   Its so fatty you definitely don't need to add any oil.   To really kick the burger up a notch, toast the bread in the saute pan with the foie fat that rendered while you were searing..  delicious!

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twyst View Post

Ill concur with chefwriter, a slice a smidge under a  half inch thick is about what you are going to want.  Foie is a $15 upsell on tburgers in the lounge area of the restaurant I work at, and its about a 2 oz portion.

 

 

Sear foie in a reasonably hot, dry pan.   Its so fatty you definitely don't need to add any oil.   To really kick the burger up a notch, toast the bread in the saute pan with the foie fat that rendered while you were searing..  delicious!

 

Wow; $15 upcharge. Do customers add it often? I hadn't thought about keeping it on the menu as a topping choice, but I sort of like the idea. If need be, could I slice and freeze to keep the foie gras from going bad?

Love the idea of toasting the buns in the duck fat. Thanks! 

post #5 of 20

We sell quite a few, which is a little surprising considering its a $15 upcharge to a $10 burger.   

 

 

 

 

Quote:
If need be, could I slice and freeze to keep the foie gras from going bad?

Absolutely.

post #6 of 20

Did it in NY years ago plus we made a meat loaf stuffed with chanterells and truffles, The fad lasted about 8 or 9 monthes

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post #7 of 20

Davisd  pop it in the freezer for a while before cutting.  put the sliced pieces on parchment or wax paper. If you cut to thin it will kinda disappear. Then putting it on top of a hot burger steam,cooks it more. Good luck

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post #8 of 20

I'm a little wary of messing with foie without a foie master present. I'm only being a little dramatic. It's expensive, incredible stuff that deserves our respect and understanding, given the lengths we go to get the stuff. And it takes a lot of coaxing and finesse to make it taste good. 

 

I think the best way to get the most flavor is to de-vein it, and dice it, and incorporate it into your burgers. Then you get to use way more of it then you would if you were doing them on your flat top.

 

Also, I'd do it in a pan. You want to be able to save whatever fat renders from the liver, and use it for something else.

 

If you're searing foie, never use oil. Small pieces tend to be helped by a little Wondra, and a very carefully controlled sautee pant. 

 

If you want to get really fancy, cure the liver, make a torchon and then searve the burger with cold slices of that.

 

What I'm saying though, is maybe freeze it, go on youube a lot, and read some more, and then do something when you're ready. Because it is a crazy upcharge, and you will knock there freaking socks off, if you do this right.

 

The other thing is wagyu is all about the fat, too. And foie and wagyu might be wasted on each other, except for shock value. 

post #9 of 20

Hi David.

 

If this is something you want to keep up consider ordering bulk frozen lower grade / less expensive foie.  You can still make a quality pate out of lower grade foie, and you can get good portion control (and flavor) with a pate.  It can be spread on with a knife as thin as you want, it can even be cut with other ingredients to stretch it further.  In the process of making the pate all the fat can be salvaged for use in other preparations.   I think bulk frozen foie comes in 50 pound boxes and you have to order a month in advance.  I looked into it a while back and it was by far the cheapest way to get foie.

 

You could pair it on the burger with something that uses truffle oil which is the least expensive way to use truffles.  It sounds super rich on the menu, and you can pass the flavor of foie gras and truffles to your costumers without charging $45.00 per burger.

post #10 of 20

wagyu doesnt need anything else, just let the meat shine.

 

Use the foie gras on something else, the wagyu is fatty enough.

post #11 of 20

Duuude....come on. What a waste of Foie. Put it on a burger? Seriously? 

 

Listen, if you are using wagyu meat, what is the point of putting foie on the burger? You are just adding rich food upon rich upon rich. The wagyu by itself will be dripping with delicious beef fat, why add more? Why not buy a tin of beluga and put it on there too? 

 

Grinding it into the burger itself is a heinous idea, no offense. If anything, make a torchon of the foie and use it as a stuffing for the patty. Slicing it thin and searing it on the griddle will likely cause about 80% of it to melt away. 

 

If you portion it and freeze it, it will oxidize. And, like butter (cause it is so high in fat content) extended storage in the freezer and/or fridge can cause it to pick up "off" flavors. So if you don't sell a lot of it, you might have a problem. If you have access to a vacuum sealer, then it is your best friend if you must freeze it. 

 

Listen, Daniel Bolud can get away with it because he has an established, upscale clientele, established reputation, is one of the finest chefs in the country, and can charge like 50 dollars for it. But anyways, if you insist upon going through with this, then I suggest soaking it in cold water or milk overnight, curing it, pushing it through a tamis, making it into a torchon, chilling it, then slicing it, and using it to stuff inside your beef patties. This way, you can gently warm the foie in the middle of beef (say, with a medium burger), without overcooking it/rendering out all the fat. If someone wants a well done burger, say no (lol). You will also likely get a better yield from the foie this way. 

 

But, a thousand times no to slicing it thin and searing it on a griddle. Utterly pointless. Also, please don't ever use truffle oil. Ever. Absolutely foul (my opinion of course). 

 

I'd love to no how this turns out--please follow up. Count me as skeptical but intrigued. 

post #12 of 20

grate some of the torchon over the top after the burger is finished, like you would butter.

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnimbelli View Post

I'm a little wary of messing with foie without a foie master present. I'm only being a little dramatic. And it takes a lot of coaxing and finesse to make it taste good. 

I don't think I can agree with this.  Foie and pork belly are so easy to make delicious it's almost cheating.  

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

Really appreciate all of the feedback. I understand the off juxtoposition of such a delacacy as foie gras and a mundane item like a burger. As far as one of my flavor concerns, I see Patrick's point that the fatty foie on top of a fatty wagyu patty might be fat overload, so I think I'll experiment with the torchon first. It'd probably be more foolproof for the grill cook as well.

 

We're a craft beer bar (37 taps) whose customers are really into exotic beers. A lot of the same people area really interested in unique foods as well. The Exotic burgers do really well, so I figured I'd try to add something extra with the fois gras. It's hard to improve on a wagyu burger, though!

post #15 of 20

There might be some room to do it with something like a foie mousse, or a pate like concoction (I think mentioned upthread) that would be spreadable as a condiment on the bun. That might work--you'd get the flavor and the richness, without much waste. That way, too, you could offer it on any burger in house as a side condiment or whatever.

 

You could also take any trimmings, and rendered fat, older portions, etc, and make a gravy like sauce that you could serve over fries, like an upmarket poutine. Again, not that I'm condoning this, lol, but it might work for your pub. 

post #16 of 20

With that much fat you might want to look into crafting something in house with some acidity to it to balance the burger.   A housemade pickled something, an onion relish or tomato jam, etc.  That burger is really going to need some acid to cut some of the fat if you want it to be as good as it can be.

post #17 of 20

I'm going by way of Coup. Even w/ a 100% EP (less the fat) your gonna Kill your FC and have to recoup by way of "Guests Pocketbook". Bulk it up w/ a very flavorful pate Use ingredients that will complement the Foie. ROLL it and chill/freeze the Pate'. Then you can actually "Pan-sear" a good 1/2 " of the pate. You've increased your EP over AP and still kept the integrity of the product! Good Luck! X.

post #18 of 20

If you elect to shy away from the traditional seared foie on a burger thing thats been going around for the past few years, I'd just make foie butter, keep it in the freezer and slice off a little piece to top every burger with.   This will be the most profitable route, but if you are looking to create a high priced upsell people are going to want the traditional sliced foie on a burger.

 

Im working in a really high end restaurant and we grind our scraps and make burgers to serve in our connected more casual bar/cafe. We offer foie as an upsell, and they sell at least 10  foie burgers a day, so there is a market for it.  

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twyst View Post

I don't think I can agree with this.  Foie and pork belly are so easy to make delicious it's almost cheating.  

It's easy to make delicious, but it's also easy to destroy if you don't know what you are doing.

Re: "grinding it in," I was suggesting making a small dice and then folding that into the already ground meat, or foing patties around a food gras center, so it ends up being like a molten foie burger, with no loss of fat.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Swartz Jr View Post

Really appreciate all of the feedback. I understand the off juxtoposition of such a delacacy as foie gras and a mundane item like a burger. As far as one of my flavor concerns, I see Patrick's point that the fatty foie on top of a fatty wagyu patty might be fat overload, so I think I'll experiment with the torchon first. It'd probably be more foolproof for the grill cook as well.

 

We're a craft beer bar (37 taps) whose customers are really into exotic beers. A lot of the same people area really interested in unique foods as well. The Exotic burgers do really well, so I figured I'd try to add something extra with the fois gras. It's hard to improve on a wagyu burger, though!

where ya located?  would love it if you're just around the corner! 

:)

 

As for advise... don't mess with perfection, don't over think it.

 

Keep it sliced and frozen, take out and sear then top the burger... make it an option for any of the burgers you have.

 

Make it a good fair sized portion and people will buy it.  

 

One place I worked at had a large french community as clients - they started to order it off the lunch menu alongside their breakfast.  

Not the burger just the foie... after a while I started peeking when the orders went out.

 

They were taking the seared warm slices and spreading it on the toast that came with their breakfast.  

Absolutely brilliant !! - kinda like the most expensive creton ever, and damn delicious.

 

Needless to say we put it on the breakfast menus as fast as we could as an up-sale.   

Made a perfect killing on that one, turned a single buck profit bacon and eggs into a 11 buck profit bacon and eggs with hardly any extra work!

 

Enjoy the fun with exotic burgers and beer!

o7

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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