Expert Advice

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Foie Gras

1.1 Weight, consumption, expiration date

1.2 Preparation

1.3 Marination

1.3.1 Marinating in brown sugar

1.3.2 Marinating in alcohol

1.4 SOUS VIDE

1.4.1 SOUS VIDE cold

1.4.2 SOUS VIDE as preparation for cooking

1.5 Roasting in oven

1.6 Roasting slices

1.7 Confiting

1.7.1 Confiting foie gras

1.7.2 Confiting Alain Ducasse style

1.8 Foie gras au torchon Michał Magiel style

1.9 Terrine/Parfait

1.9.1 Raw

1.9.2 Warm

1. Foie gras

1.1 WEIGHT, CONSUMPTION, EXPIRATION DATE

Recommended weight of duck and goose liver to work with:

  1. Duck liver
    1. 300-400 g/piece: best ingredient for terrine, because this weight lets out the least fat.
    2. 400-500 g/piece: recommended for terrine and roasting.
    3. 500-600 g/piece: this weight is ideal when the size of the slices are important, because that is the biggest weight and also letting out the most fat while roasting.
  2. Goose liver
    1. Regardless of the method we would like to prepare it, we recommend the 500-650 g pieces but we keep different sizes as well.
  3. Duck breast
    1. Fattened duck breast is bigger than of the normal duck, but the size and weight of this product depends on the season. In the summer the are smaller, around 250-350 g, in the winter they are bigger, can reach 350-400 g.
  4. Expiration date:
    1. Fattened duck breast and duck liver: 14 days from production day
    2. Goose liver: 8 days from production day

1.2 PREPARATION

  1. If you bought fresh foie gras, take it out from the packaging and drain it. If you bought frozen liver, keep it in the original packaging and defrost it in the fridge on temperature 4-8 °C.
  2. From here, there is no difference in the method of preparation. Put the drained foie gras in a bowl of ice cold milk for at least 4-5 hours, or if possible, leave it there overnight. This way the liver will gain a nice look, will turn white, and the remaindeers of the blood (its hemoglobin content would give it a sour taste) will disappear. In the case of lactose intolerancy, use ice cold water instead.
  3. Take out the liver from the milk, take the bits apart and pull the skin off the liver. It is important for the liver to be cold as it is much easier to work with it like that.
  4. Take the veins out, use a tweezer for this as it makes it easier. If we observe how the veins run in the liver, with one single movement. If we prepare torchon, where the shape is formed later, it does not matter whether the liver loses its shape during this procedure.
  5. Depending whether we want to use foie gras in one piece or sliced, we either leave it in one piece or make finger-thick slices of it.
  6. Further instructions depend on what we would like to make from the liver, and we made different paragraphs for them. Regardless of how we decide, it is advisable to put the cleaned liver in the fridge.

1.3 MARINATING

1.3.1 Marinating in brown sugar

  1. We prepare the liver according to 1.2.
  2. We prepare the marinade from the following ingredients:
    1. 3 cloves,
    2. 2 bay leaves,
    3. 40 g brown sugar,
    4. 50 g marinating salt with nitrin,
    5. 1 litre water.
  3. Mix the ingredients, boil the mixture and let it cool down.
  4. Put the liver in the marinade and place it in the fridge for 48 hours on temperature 0-5 °C. During this period, turn the liver once in the marinade.

1.3.2 Marinating in alcohol

For the marinade you will need Tokaji wine and honey. If you dont have tokaji, you can use port or honey vermuth. Mix the ingredients and put the prepared (according to 1.2) liver into it. Make sure the wine/vermuth is cold enough, otherwise the liver will get too soft. Marination duration: 12-24 hours.

1.4 SOUS VIDE

1.4.1 SOUS VIDE cold

Recipe for 500 g foie gras.

  1. We prepare the liver according to 1.2.
  2. We prepare the marinade from the following ingredients:
    1. 3 cloves,
    2. 2 bay leaves,
    3. 40 g brown sugar,
    4. 30 g marinating salt with nitrin (we can change the proportion of the salt and sugar according to our taste),
    5. 1 litre water.
  3. Mix the ingredients, boil the mixture and let it cool down. IMPORTANT: at this point, take out the cloves and the bay leaves from the marinade.
  4. Put the liver in the marinade and place it in the fridge for 48 hours on temperature 0-5 °C.
  5. Take the liver out of the marinade, and wash it under under running water. Put it among squashed ice, and put it in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
  6. Put the liver into a vacuum bag, with half a spoon of tokaji (or port, sauternes or cinzano) and close the bag.
  7. In sous-vide mode cook it for 2.5 hours on temperature 45 °C. (To be sure that all bacteria is killed, it's recommended to cook it on 54 °C).
  8. If the cooking is done, put the liver in iced water immediately, where the water is at least 50% ice, until the temperature of the middle part reaches 3 °C.
  9. Open the bags, wash the liver parts in icy water and put them back into the vacuum bag once more.
  10. We can keep the dish in the fridge for two weeks.

1.4.2 SOUS VIDE – as preparation for cooking

Preparation, marination: same as in 1.4.1.

The only difference is that we cook the liver sous-vide for 15 minutes on 54 °C, the cooling works the same way.

1.5 ROASTED IN THE OVEN

  1. We prepare the liver according to 1.2.
  2. If roasted in whole, put the liver on a tray and roast it like that. If it's in smaller parts, roast it on 110 °C for 18-20 minutes, if there are bigger parts, roast it for 6-10 minutes longer. No additional fat is needed for the roasting, because there is just enough coming from the liver.
  3. In the beginning, monitor the roasting to prevent the liver to get dry, from foie gras you can easily gain 300-400 ml of fat.
  4. After the roast we let the liver cool down, and when it is cold we put it into the fridge, to cool down completely and gain its final texture.
  5. Put the liver out and place it on a grid. Sprinkle it with melted duck or goose fat. The fat is not for the liver's heat treatment, but to only create a layer. Because of this, the fat cannot be too hot, it is good enough if it is liquid. (The duck or goose fat cannot be hotter than 80 °C, bacause then it burns.)
  6. Do the sprinkling 3 or 5 times more, until a coat of 2-3 mm is created. The fat closes the air out of the liver, and conserves it for a few weeks.
  7. Serving: cut them into slices or cut little balls out from it.

1.6 ROAST IN SLICES

A. Roasting raw foie gras in a pan

  1. We prepare the liver according to 1.2.
  2. Before the roasting we cut the liver into finger-thick slices, but let the actual thickness depend on whether its served as a starter or a main course.
  3. Fry the slices on both sides, to create a caramellised layer on them.
  4. Put the slices into a pre-heated oven for 2-3 minutes, on temperature 220 °C.
  5. Take out the liver, put the the slices onto a cold pan, and leave it for 6-8 minutes.
  6. Put the pan back to the oven on the same temperature.
  7. The slices are ready to serve. It is important to serve them on a hot plate, because on a cold one the grease which came out from the liver would settle in 1-2 minutes.

B. Foie gras fried in a pan, after sous-vide

  1. Prepare the liver sous vide, according to 1.4.2.
  2. Before cooking, cut up the liver in any preferred shape pieces, little triangles are recommended though.
  3. Fry the livers on both sides to create a caramellised layer.
  4. Let it rest for 6 minutes.
  5. After this until serving, keep them in salamander, but make sure that there is no direct contact between the hot air and the liver, because you only want to keep the liver warm and not to heat treat it. Before it is served, fry the liver again on both sides.

1.7. CONFITING IN FAT

1.7.1 Confit Foie Gras

  1. Cut the white, fragranced goose fat into smaller pieces or grate it on a the bigger sized holes on the grater.
  2. Start to warm it on medium temperature in a thick walled pot, until its totally melted. Make sure not to burn it, but to let out all the water inside. After this strain the fat and let it cool down.
  3. We prepare the liver according to 1.2.
  4. Put the liver into a big enough casserole. If you prefer, you can add 1-2 bulbs of garlic, unpeeled.
  5. Pour goose liver (50-60 °C hot), until it covers the liver.
  6. Put the whole casserole into the oven, for 40 minutes on temperature 80-100 °C.
  7. If you can measure the temperature of the middle parts, take it out carefully when it reaches 48-50 °C. The temperature of the inner part will increase for a while even after being taken out, but you cannot let it go over 60 °C, because it would lead to a great loss of fat and therefore taste. The duration until it happens depend on the casserole, the oven and the liver itself.
  8. Finally strain the fat, get rid of the stuck parts from the bottom of the casserole and put the liver back into the clean grease. Store the dish in a cool, dry place, in a clay, china or glass container.

1.7.2. Confiting Alain Ducasse style

The great advantage of this kind of preparation that you can conserve the liver for a long time.

  1. We prepare the liver according to 1.2.
  2. After this let it dry, season it with salt, ground pepper and brown sugar. (For 500 g of duck foie gras: 10 g salt, 3 g pepper, 2 g sugar.)
  3. Put it into grease-proof paper and put it in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
  4. Put out the liver and place it into goose fat (temperature 50-60 °C) to make it loosen up a bit.
  5. Put the pieces into sterilised glass jars and pour clean, warm, fresh goose fat on top.
  6. Close the jars and put them into a big pot, in a few more layers of grease-proof papers.
  7. Pour cold water into the pot to cover the jars.
  8. Start to heat the water, then for an hour, keep it on 85-90 °C. (Put the pot into the oven on temperature 100 °C). If the temperature of the water would go down, pour hot water to it.
  9. Let the jars cool down in the water, and place them in the fridge bottom side up for minimum for 2 days.
  10. Keep it in a cold, dry place. According to Ducasse, this way the liver can be kept for as long as even a few months. If we do not want to store them for that long, it is enough to heat the water until 65-70 °C, so that lesser fat would be lost.

1.8 FOIE GRAS AU TORCHON NA MICHAŁ MAGIEL STYLE

  1. We prepare the liver according to 1.2.
  2. If the liver was in the fridge, we take it out to raise its temperature and let it soften a bit. The texture is ideal that if you gently push your finger in it, it leaves a hollow. In this stage it is easy to shape.
  3. Put the liver on a wide foil, this way it will ber easier to roll up. Put 10 g salt to 700 g foie gras. This might seem a bit too much, but is necessary to reach the desired taste. Use some pepper as well.
  4. Roll the foie gras in the foil, as tight as you can. Some help might be needed with the tying, as it has to be very tight.
  5. Put the roll into the fridge for an hour.
  6. Until you wait, prepare the aspic from the Tokaji. (You can use port, sauternes or any other late vintage white wine). Make a reduction from the wine and put the gelatine into it.
  7. Put the reduced essence into a flat tray. It is important that the liquid should not be thicker than a finger, this will be important at the serving: the cubes made from the aspic will depend on the height of the aspic. The roll can be of any width.
  8. An hour later take the congelated roll out of the fridge and take it out from the foil. It will be visible where the air bubbles are, which will need to be eliminated.
  9. Again, wrap up the roll, but this time in a clean cloth, textile napkin or gauze.
  10. Put the roll into a 85 °C broth for 4-8 minutes. If the roll is thicker, than for 6-8, if smaller than 4-6. The temperature and the duration is VERY IMPORTANT.
  11. After this, put the roll in the fridge for a day. After 24 hours you can put it into a foil and it's ready to be consumed.
  12. The best way is to freezte the roll and only consume it after three months, by then it will gain the best tastes. Serve it on brioche, and decorate it with the aspic cubes.

1.9 TERRINE/PARFAIT

1.9.1 Raw

The recipe of the Ikarus restaurant in Salzburg - no grease loss as there is no heat treatment. Ingredients:

  • 500 g foie gras
  • 6 g salt
  • 2 g marinating salt
  • 5 spoon of madeira, of which make 1 spoon of concentrate oin low temperature.
  • 5 spoon of port, of which make spoon of concentrate oin low temperature.
  • 1 spoon of sweet wine - preferably something with botrytis content (Tokaji Aszú)
  1. We prepare the liver according to 1.2.
  2. Pass the skin and veiny parts through a sieve, and add them to the liver.
  3. Put the 20-30 mm parts in a pan, sprinkle them with salt and marinated salt. If you use sea or himalayan salt, no marinating salt is necessary.
  4. Sprinkle it with milled pepper and freshly ground nutmeg, and use a brush to apply the wine on it.
  5. Cover the liver throughoutly, to close out all light and air, and put it in the fridge for at least a day.
  6. With the plastic foil form it as you prefer, either into a roll or a wedge, and push the air out from it.
  7. Put the pieces into grease-proof paper and until serving keep them in the fridge.
  8. Serve the terrine simply: on toasted bread, brioche, salted, and with roughly ground pepper.

1.9.2. Warm

It can seem that preparing a terrinte is a long procedure, but the steps of the preparation can be easily included in the following steps: soaking, getting rid of the veins, seasoning and marinading, heat treating, cooling-squeezing.

When preparing terrine, it is very important to clean the liver thoroughly, getting rid of the veins, the skin completely, so here are two special ways of cleaning the liver. The common step is the soaking in ice sold milk for 12-24 hours. Use thin rubber gloves for the procedure.

Cleaning methods
1. The classic method

Put out the liver from the milk and take the parts apart. Cut off the skin with a knife and put the liver into a wet cloth and keep it on room temperature for 40 minutes or put it into 30 °C milk for 10 mins. This is an important step, because it is easier to get the veins out from a soft liver.

Take a piece of liver with the round side up, with its wider part closer to us (the other half remains in the wet cloth). Find the main vein's end with your finger, and lift it out with a knife, paying attention not to break it. In the meantime, cut a long hollow with either with a spoon, knife or with your finger, to help the vein to come out easier. There are few more veins in the liver, the more you can take out the smoother the terrine will be. The liver at this stage does not give a spectacle look, but is easy to shape, and wit ha help of grease-proof paper you can form it. Prepared like this, put it back to the fridge.

2. Wearisome, but the cleanest method

Cover the cutting board with grease proof paper and get a short bladed knife. Because the liver is easier to handle when it is still cold you need to be fast. Take the parts apart, cut off the skin with the knife and put it off at the side of the cutting board. You will collect the cut off parts from here. Put the liver with the longer side perpendicular to you, with the round part on top, and with vertical motions, in a thin layer peel the liver. Do this procedure in a way that to keep the liver's surface smooth.

Every time pull off the clean, creamy material that you peel off, on the side of the board but put them in a different heap than the cut off parts. During the peeling, with the pointy end of the knife, cut out the veins, and put them in the heap of the cut down parts. Then take this heap and push it through a sieve, as there are a lot of useful material in this mass that we can add to the liver.

Continue the peeling until the liver lasts, you can push the the last 10 mm through the sieve. If you are fast enough the liver should stay hard all the way.

Mix the clean and the other material you gained from the cut down parts together, and prepare the mass. If it does not lose much grease from the warmth of your hand, it should look like it looked before the procedure.

3. Another frequently used method is to cut the foie gras in half and then to cubes. This way it is also possible to take out the veins.
4. You can also cut up the lukewarm liver and pass it through a sieve.
Marinating, preparation

Put the cleaned liver into grease-proof paper in suitable sizes. Prepare a roll from it (or any other preferred shapes) and put it into the fridge.

Take the parts out if they have cooled down to marinate them. Put salt on the foie gras pieces, sprinkle them with freshly ground pepper and nutmeg, you can also put some sweet wine essence on it. After that put it back in the grease-proof paper and leave it in the fridge for another 12-24 hours.

After taking them out, put in into the terrain maker, which we have lined previously with grease proof paper. Make sure not to leave air bubbles and that the surface is smooth. Put the rest of the paper on top.

Boil water in a high walled casserole, put the terrine-maker inside and put them into the pre heated oven. The duration of the preparation depends on the oven, the temperature, the form of the casserole. Your aim is to prevent the temperature of the inside of the liver go over 60 °C.

When it is ready let the terrine to cool down, cover it with a fitting shaped cardboard or wooden board with weights, e.g. tins or glasses full of water. The weights altogether should not be more than the half of the liver. Put it to the fridge for a whole day.

Get the terrain out with the help of the grease-proof paper, and cut it with a hot knife. With the remaindeers be careful to wrap it up well, and put it back in the fridge. When serving, let the terrine be warmer than it was in the fridge but shouldnt reach room temperature.

Terrine can be made in the oven on low temperature (80-120 °C) for 30-50 minutes. Krisztián Huszár, the chef of Zona Bisztró makes it on 180 °C, in an air ventillating oven for ten and a few minutes, until a small amount of grease comes out from the liver. After that the terrine should be taken out from the oven when the inner part of the liver reaches 46-50 °C, because it will go up another 10 °C.

Many chefs will choose an industrial method: they put the raw foie grast among broken ice, and also covet it with that. Like this the remaindeers of the blood will disappear and the liver will be clean.

The french chef, André Daguin uses a special plate for terrine: he puts the liver after the poching in a carved pumpkin, and puts it to the oven like that. He also serves the terrine in that.

Others will get rif of the skin of the cold liver, cut it into bigger parts, taka the main veins out and put the liver into a clay container and put it into the microwave for 1.5 minutes on 800 W.

Some other chefs will wrap the liver in a kitchen cloth and boil it in broth.