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Foie Gras Terrine Chargrilled like in Sauternes (page 2 of 2)

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I had this memorable terrine at Saprien, the restaurant in Sauternes, France, home of Château d'Yquem. See how it's done - quite spectacular!
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Having woken up early on a chilly December morning and waited about 2 hours to get my ambers ready, I did not want to risk having to start my fire from scratch for waiting too long before grilling the foie gras. So my ambers were still quite hot when I grilled the foie gras, and you can see what happens on the picture above. The foie gras melts a little, and the melted fat flares up like a Kuwait oil well. A nice way to support your local oncologist!

 

Start to salt with coarse sea salt, black pepper and Piment d'Espelette. I believe powdered chipotles would do even better but the only chili officially used in French gastronomy is the Piment d'Espelette.

 

Back inside the house, some more seasoning on the second and last batch of foie gras still warm from the grill. I must say it looks, smells and tastes so good at this stage it's really hard to give up eating it straight away and having to wait one more day.

 

You can make a terrine in any cake mold, but given the quality of my ingredient, I went shopping for a nice terrine dish and found this beautiful cast-iron enameled La Cornue terrine. Lay the foie gras piece by piece in the terrine. Some people wrap the sides with a thin layer of pork fat for better preservation and easier unmolding but I find this bit of pork meat very unappetising. You choose.

 

Put additional pieces of chargrilled seasoned foie gras in the terrine until full. If you have too much foie gras, you can eat the extra foie gras on a piece of toasted bread.

 

The foie gras is really beautiful - what a pity to have to wait an extra day before eating it!

 

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Lay the terrine or cake mold in a large ovenproof dish and fill with water. You can rest the terrine on two knives to prevent direct contact with the dish. The idea is to provide smooth, uniform heating so that the foie gras will not melt around hotspots.

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Put in the oven and cook for 20 minutes at 50°C. Usually foie gras terrines cook longer and at higher temperatures but here the foie gras has already been cooked on the grill. This process will tenderize the foie gras so they can later be pressed into a tight terrine.

 

Let the terrine cool down to room temperature, then wrap in kitchen film.

 

Add a piece of board or cardboard that covers exactly the inside of the terrine so that you can apply even pressure and obtain a regular shape.

 

Put in the fridge with a weight over the cardboard - here I used two packs of tomato passata. You do not need an awful lot of weight but it has to be spread relatively evenly across the surface.

 

The next day, remove the weights and unwrap ...

 

The foie gras is ready to be served. See below for better pictures.

 

Heat a kitchen knife blade over a flame and use it to cut a slice of foie gras.

 

Serve with toasted brioche bread or here our lovely Swiss saffron-infused cuchaule and my Quince Balsamico Chutney. A big success!

If I may contribute about the ethics of foie gras, I do respect the people who care more for the goose's well-being than for their appetite. Without demand for foie gras many geese would probably never have been born. Is a two week force-feeding ordeal worth a goose's life? You find your own answer. Let me just say that I cook foie gras with greater respect than many ingredients save perhaps truffles.

To have lunch or dinner at the restaurant:

Restaurant Saprien
14, Rue Principale
33210 Sauternes France
Tel : +(33) 5 56 76 60 87
Published 13/12/2006
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25 Comments

  • #1
  • Comment by chef josh
  • on: 22/04/2007
I have tried to grill foie before and had disastrous results. Mainly me being screamed at by a chef for a half hour about why I thought that would work. But I knew there had to be a way and you sir have found one for me. The chilies are a crazy touch sounds interesting and I think I might just try it out.   
  • #2
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 22/04/2007
Chef Josh, thank you for your comment! You need to wait until the embers are almost finished and leave the foie gras on the cooking  grate no more than 60 seconds in total or they'll melt down in the most expensive flare known to man. The freshest the foie gras, the better the result. Let me know how you fare!
  • #3
  • Comment by doris
  • on: 08/06/2007
I have been to this nice restaurant. I love his terrine de foie gras with the Sauternes Jelly. Thank you for this recipe, I will try it when next in France.
  • #4
  • Comment by chef steve
  • on: 13/10/2007
The terrine recipe looks very interesting as does the restaurant picture. It has been a long time since I was in France, mainly due to living in Thailand. We have some great restaurants here (including my own) but never quite the same.
  • #5
  • Comment by Curt
  • on: 31/10/2007
Now I'm upset that I didn't grill my foie gras.  I have a few slices left, so I'll have to try it to see if I can do it quickly without it falling through.  I try to do anything I can on the grill.  Nice article, and, as usual, great photos.
  • #6
  • Comment by Baitte
  • on: 17/01/2008
hmmm....very interesting! Thanks  google
  • #7
  • Comment by Beatrice
  • on: 14/02/2008
Francois, what do you think of using caul fat instead of plain pork fat?  I use it for other terrines; might it work to offend you less?  I often use chiles when tradition calls for sweetness; there is a certain sweetness in the heat, and perhaps it stimulates the same area of the tongue...
  • #8
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 14/02/2008
Beatrice, you might probably substitute the pork membrane with another one, the purpose is only to prevent oxydation of the foie gras. There are so many different chiles - some melt in your mouth while others make your mouth melt!
  • #9
  • Comment by Beatrice
  • on: 15/02/2008
I "cheat" on French traditional cuisine by using San Marcos chipotle peppers in adobo.  It's a Mexican product, but I've found it on the shelves in Barcelona.  It has a lovely sweet-smoky flavour and doesn't overwhelm foie gras.  A teaspoonful in pumpkin soup is spectacular!
  • #10
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 18/02/2008
Beatrice, I too am a fiend for chipotle! I have them in adobo sauce, dried whole and even powdered. They are lovely with sweet potatoes and in chilis too!
  • #11
  • Comment by joseph
  • on: 20/04/2008
What is the terrine history?thanks.
  • #12
  • Comment by JAY WITHAM
  • on: 21/11/2008
MARVELOUS ARTICLE.  YOUR PHOTOS ARE SUPERB. I like CAUL FAT BUT PORK LARD TASTES BETTER.  THNX FOR ALL THE HARD WORK. JAY
  • #13
  • Comment by JAY WITHAM
  • on: 21/11/2008
ADDENDUM TO PREVIOUS SUBMISSION.  I TAKE EXCEPTION TO THE REMARK THAT THE GEESE SUFFER AN ORDEAL OF TWO WEEKS FORCE FEEDING.  I'M SURE YOU HAVE WITNESSED A REPUTABLE GOOSE FARM IN OPERATION AND MUST HAVE OBSERVED, THE GEESE CAN'T WAIT TO BE FED THEY LOVE THE CORN FILLED CROP AND ARE NOT INJURED IN ANY WAY.  THEY ARE ALSO VERY HUMANELY DISPATCHED FAR MORE CIVILIZED THAN CHICKENS. LOVE YOUR WORK. RESPECTFULLY, JAY WITHAM CALIFORNIA USA
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Jay, I think the French won't ban foie gras any time soon! Please don't use ALL CAPS when writing, on the Internet it is equivalent to YELLING in someone's face. I hope you understand.

  • #15
  • Comment by Nan
  • on: 22/01/2009
I've been looking for a lovely preparation for foie gras.  This looks just the ticket!  Thank you for the recipe and wonderful preparation photos. As a photographer, I'm pleased with the clarity and logical steps shown. As a traveler, I will make the restaurant a must visit! As a cook, can't wait! Thanks again.
  • FX's answer→ Nan, thanks! Have you seen the foie gras video too?

  • #17
  • Comment by Elaine
  • on: 28/04/2009
I have been looking for a decent recipe for foie gras for ages so am looking forward to trying this. The pics were very helpful.
Many thanks
  • FX's answer→ Thanks, now you need to look for decent fresh foie gras lobes in the UK, a whole new game. Good luck!

  • #19
  • Comment by ani
  • on: 27/09/2009
Me encanto tu explicación de terrina estaba buscando informacion de como realizarla y me distes varios tips,es la primeras vez q realizare una y te agradeceria si tuvieras una receta sencilla con la cual comenzar hacer una terrina
  • #20
  • Comment by Jose Luis Fernandez
  • on: 11/10/2009
Distinguido Sr.
Casualmente encontre su blog leyendo en algunos articulos de cocina, le felicito por sus brillantes comentarios y es un placer leer sus articulos, siga siempre asi para placer de los aficionados a la gastronomia.
Saludos desde Sevilla.
  • #21
  • Comment by Yana
  • on: 06/11/2009
I can't thank you enough for your article and lovely pictures! I just bought a lovely fresh duck foie gras to do a homemade terrine. My mom's terrine is outstanding, a recipe she got from Hubert Keller more than 20 years ago. As she is currently incommunicado on a cruise ship, I was unable to ask her for the recipe. What a relief to find your wonderful recipe and insightful comments. I shall adapt it to apartment cooking...maybe a hibachi grill or until I get one searing it will do for now. Many Thanks!
  • #22
  • Comment by Michael Wood
  • on: 18/10/2010
If you want to spend 150 to 200 dollars to try to make this terrine which you better be ready to eat in no less than 3-5 days than go rite ahead and whip it out. Id just like to mention that this is a recipe from a michelin starred restaurant. For the home cook a good practice for grilling foie gras would be to chill some chicken fat and throw it on the grill. Let me just save you some time and tell you to go to the closest restaurant you respect thats serving foie gras and order it. The most important part of a chefs skillset is how to utilize applied heat sources (theyre playing with fire) and given that, aspect with the medium being foie gras, Id say leave it to the experts.
  • #23
  • Comment by Yana
  • on: 14/12/2010
Here I am a year later and so happy I found your recipe again...this time I printed it to treasure for years to come as everyone loved the one I did last year! Happy Holidays and thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe...
  • FX's answer→ Thanks, I am really glad to see you found some permanent value in my article!

  • #25
  • Comment by Cambo
  • on: 30/06/2011
FX, We ate our way through france last year for our honeymoon, it is with great sadness that i missed out on such a nice restaurant. But we had such lovely food everywhere in france. Thank you for your recipe, i've been looking forever for a beautiful foie gras terrine. Now to find myself some GOOSE LIVER....its so hard to find any in australia....such a shame!

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