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Old 06-01-2016, 07:52 PM   #1
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Foie gras torchon

Well I have it wrangled and wrapped. Whew that was a job. It kept trying to escape. I have to thank Kayelle for finding the website she did. I used some of the tips from there and also used Michael Ruhlman's instructions. Tomorrow I'll post a pic of it hanging and also links to both web sites unless Kayelle wants to do the honors for the one she found. I'm having a drink and taking the rest of the evening off after beating that thing into submission.

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Old 06-01-2016, 09:17 PM   #2
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Ha, by all means, post both of the sites Med! It was only you who did the work! I've just done the drooling. How I'd love just a little taste.
Can't wait to see your post tomorrow. Good job girl, I'm having an evening glass of libation myself. *clink*
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Old 06-02-2016, 06:15 AM   #3
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Just in case anybody else ever wants to try one of these things.

Kayelle's link.
The Food Lab: How To Make a Foie Gras Torchon (Secret Technique Inside!) | Serious Eats

Michael Ruhlman's instructions.
How To Make a Foie Gras au Torchon | Michael Ruhlman

I ended up with 525 grams after I had cleaned and sliced off the pieces for dinner the other night. The foie was just under 2 pounds when I started. Let me tell you, cleaning it was just so much fun. Watch the videos that are on the net, they do help. And if you have kitchen pliers and/or tweezers, use them. Your fingers/hands get very slippery and those veins are hard to hold onto. Have plenty of paper towels on hand and either wear gloves or be prepared to have really fatty feeling hands and have to do LOTS of handwashing afterward to get rid of that feeling, as well as the liver smell.

I did go ahead and soak it overnight in milk. The milk was discolored a tiny bit when I took it out of the fridge. I rinsed the foie and then let it drain and finish warming up a bit on paper towels. Amazingly, there was still some scant blood tinge on the paper towels.

While the foie was still warming up (it's easier to work with when it's close to room temp, kind of fatty play-dough feeling), I mixed up the cure. I did use the pink curing salt (sel rose) because we already had it from our other charcuterie adventures. We also have a scale that measures in grams or pounds/ounces. After I had all the ingredients weighed out, used the spice grinder to make it into a fine "snow" as Kayelle's site talks about. The calculator on your phone is your friend.

I did use Kayelle's site for the curing and shaping. I decided to sprinkle the cure on and wrap all in 1 step instead of the 2 steps on Ruhlman's/French Laundry's method. I initially thought the idea of using the bamboo sushi mat to roll it up was great but that didn't work out so well for me. The foie kept trying to come out of the sides. So, after I finally ended up getting it rolled, got 1 end tied off, tied off the other and then used the "guitar-string" style method described on Kayelle's site to compress it further. Worked on the 1 end first and then did the other end until it felt like it was well compressed (at least I hope it is). Hung it up in the fridge on the porch with a bowl under it in case anymore fat oozed out before it cooled down and firmed up. It's an older fridge and has wire shelves so I didn't have to rig up something, just tied it to the upper shelf.

A partial clean-up then ensued. Lots and lots and lots of paper towels from cleaning my hands so I didn't get that fatty residue everywhere got gathered up and tossed, as well as the used plastic wrap. All I can say is have everything you need ready to go before you start messing with the foie, cure ready to go, all the plastic wrap pieces you will need pulled out and waiting, the fine strainer (if you are using) out, cognac in a small bowl, cheesecloth cut and ready, and twine cut and ready to go. Above all, have paper towels pulled off the roll and ready to use. I had all that done and still was constantly wiping off my hands. It is a messy job. I do have to say though that the liver smell was mostly gone after the milk soak. Good thing as the night before the residual smell I couldn't get off my hands after cleaning the foie was driving the pugs crazy. Have to put the scale away and wash a few things later today.

It bears reiterating, have LOTS of paper towels on hand. Don't try this if you are about to run out.

Pic to follow later. It's still dark outside. I'll probably do the "poach" sometime tomorrow since I'm off work then.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:12 AM   #4
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I may be tying this off some later. Will have to look at it better later, but it looks like some weight shifted downward overnight.

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Old 06-05-2016, 08:14 AM   #5
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Did the poaching yesterday finally. Lost at least another inch, probably a bit more, afterward when I was doing the guitar-string style tying again. Another day and we'll be cutting it open. Got my fingers crossed.

I plan to try some when we cut it open and the rest will be sliced, vacu-packed in 2-slice serving portions and frozen.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:44 AM   #6
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Looks great! I'm envious. Enjoy!
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:30 AM   #7
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MedTran, I applaud you. You are taking on a challenging cullinary task that most of us won't have the time to duplicate. In my home, I'm the only person who enjoys liver. DW would have a fit if I purchased foie gras to make a torchon. And she wouldn't eat it. I wonder if I could make a mock-foie gras with pork liver. It would be a fun experiment.

Anyway, I'm impressed, and that's not easily done. Good job.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:35 AM   #8
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You killed the goose that laid the golden egg!
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:04 PM   #9
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Quite the process, Med! Good job!
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:12 PM   #10
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I adore foie gras but I could never have taken on that challenge. If I wore a hat I would take it off to you. Instead I will bow to you in front of the computer.
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