The basic overview of making a foie gras au torchon is this: devein, season, roll in cloth, poach, reroll again to make sure it’s tight, chill, slice. That’s it. Anyone can do it.
The steps take place over a few days, but none are hard, and it’s all fun!
Bob del Grosso
3/19/2013 5:03:34 PM
Foie Gras, 16 oz
Kosher Salt, 1/2 oz
Pepper (very fine black), 1/2 oz
Sugar, 1/4 oz
Sodium Nitrite (Aka Pink Salt, Or Dq Cure, Optional), 1/4 oz
Pull apart the lobes and remove as many veins from the foie gras as possible.
Remove any sinew or membranes from the outside of the foie.
If there are any bruised parts, cut them away and discard.
Working from the bottom of the lobes, butterfly them and locate the primary vein in the center of each.
Slice through the lobe to the vein, following its path and pulling the foie apart to see the vein clearly. (Don’t worry if you mangle the foie, better to get the veins out).
Put the foie gras in a baking dish and cover with milk.
Press plastic wrap down onto the surface of the liquid.
Refrigerate overnight or for up to two days.
Drain and rinse the foie gras.
Combine the salt, pepper, sugar, and pink salt (if using).
Sprinkle the seasoning all over the foie gras.
Press the foie into a container in an even layer 3/4 inch to 1 inch thick.
Sprinkle it with the Cognac or Sauternes if using.
Press a piece of plastic directly against the foie gras so as little air as possible is in contact with it.
Forming, cooking, and hanging the torchon.
Remove the foie from the container and let it rest for an hour or so at room temperature (it will be easier to work with).
Place it on a piece of parchment paper (best) or plastic wrap (will suffice) in the form a loaf about 6 inches long and 3 inches wide (16 x 8 centimeters).
Roll the foie into a log, twisting and squeezing the ends of the parchment paper or plastic to help compact the foie.
Unwrap the foie, discard the paper or plastic and transfer the log to a piece of cheesecloth about 1 foot wide by 2 feet long (30 x 60 centimeters).
Place the foie on the short end of the cheesecloth.
Begin to roll it to force the foie into a compact log again.
Using butchers twine, loop a length of string around your index finger.
With the same hand, hold one end of the cheesecloth tightly and wind the string around the end of the foie.
Continue wrapping the string about 1/4 inch into the foie gras, this will help force the foie gras to compress into a tight roll and tie it off.
Repeat the procedure on the other end.
Tie a few ties along it’s girth for extra support.
In a wide pot, bring enough stock or water in which to submerge the foie gras to a simmer.
Prepare an ice bath.
Place the torchon into gently simmering liquid for 90 seconds.
Immediately remove the torchon to the ice bath to cool, 5 or 10 minutes.
The foie will be loose in the cloth.
Make it compact again by compressing it in a second cloth (leaving the first one on).
Roll it as tightly as possible.
Twist and tie the ends of the towel with a string and hang the torchon from a shelf in the refrigerator overnight.
Unwrap, slice and serve or slice, cut with a ring mold and serve with slices of crusty bread.
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