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World's Best Foie Gras Torchon

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By Zoltan Szabo

I just had the world's best Foie Gras Torchon, and it was served to me by Chef Michael Pataran the other day at his resto, Shogun Revolver, on Paradise Island of The Bahamas. It was served as the first course of a Canadian wine promo affair that I helped hosting and "setting up".

We paired it with the 2006 Riesling, Charles Baker, Picone Vineyard, Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Peninsula, and it turned out to be a match made in heaven! The Torchon tasted like melted white chocolate...! Even better with the Riesling and its natural sweetness, crisp acids elevating the taste sensation...! It was orgasmic! And took a lot of time for Pataran to make the Torchon...! 6 days...! It took him almost a week to make a bite of heaven! Worth indeed...! The olfactive sensation still lingers on my palate and mind!

If any of you will visit Paradise Island and want to hear the chore of angels sing, well, just pop by Shogun and say "Hi" to Michael...He will do the rest...!

See below!

Palmex Foie Gras, Marieville, Quebec -  Moromi Miso Coated Palmex Foie Gras Torchon

NOTE: For this recipe use the freshest (never frozen) Grade “A” foie gras (goose or duck liver) you can find weighing about 500-700 grams

DAY 1:

  1. Take the foie gras and scrape off the membrane with the back of a kitchen knife (this is basically the out, very thin skin) as best as possible.
  2. Separate the 2 lobes (hemispheres) and clean out all the sinew and/or small veins you can visible see.
  3. Take the knife and cut (butterfly) each lobe; following the veins to remove. Cut away any globular fat seen in this process as well, discard all.
  4. Take the cleaned lobes and place in a deep non-reactive stainless steel container and cover with an even mixture of water and milk. Place about 4 cups of ice in the container and place in the fridge overnight.

Make your moromi miso cure

moromi miso (*)       1 cup
hon mirin                ¾ cup
junmai sake            ½ cup
white sugar            ½ cup
salt                       TT

Place all the ingredients in a large stainless steel bowl and place over a large pot of boiling water, making sure the bottom of the bowl is just above the water itself.

Cook for 50-60 minutes until the sides of the mixture start to caramelize and the mixture thickens (almost like a loose peanut butter).

When the desired consistency is reached; transfer to a stainless steel container and place in the fridge until chilled.

* - moromi miso is a vegetable based miso made from pickled vegetable and barley. I refer to it as “chocolate” miso as when it is used in certain preparations with the right foods, it takes on a chocolate-like flavour. It is available at specialty Japanese markets

DAY 2:

Remove the foie gras from the water/milk mixture and drain on paper towels and pat dry. Butterfly any remaining foie gras pieces so they are all about the same height when laid out flat.

Generously sprinkle with the sugar/salt curing mixture (see below). Using two large flat plates or non-reactive baking dishes/pans place the foie gras pieces close together in the bottom of the one pan/plate.

Place the other pan/plate on top and press. Put a weight (carton of milk or large can of tomatoes) on top of the pressing plate and place in the fridge overnight.

* curing mix:

2 tbsp white sugar, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp Japanese sansho pepper (available in Japanese markets)

DAY 3:

Bring 2 litres of chicken stock to a med-high simmer.

Take the foie gras from the fridge and carefully separate the plates (the foie gras might stick a bit so be careful). For this next step you will need 2 sheets of parchment paper, 4 large sheets of cheesecloth or 4 cotton serviettes/napkins as well as 2 litres of chicken stock.

Lay the parchment paper flat out on a kitchen table and place half the amount of the foie gras on the lower end (closest to you) in the direct centre.

Roll up the parchment tight to form a log/sausage shape with the foie gras and squeeze both ends tight.

Now take a sheet of cheesecloth/serviette and lay out flat on the table. Place the foie gras on the lower end (closest to you) in the direct centre. Roll up the cheesecloth tight to form a log/sausage shape with the foie gras and squeeze both ends tight and tie with kitchen twine

Repeat the same process as above with the second half of the foie gras so you have two logs wrapped in cheesecloth.

Poach both logs of foie in the stock to 90-120 seconds and remove immediately and place in an ice water bath for 7-10 minutes.

Now take a sheet of cheesecloth/serviette and lay out flat on the table. Take the moromi miso mixture from the fridge and using an off-set spatula spread it on the bottom end (direct centre) of the cheesecloth about 6” wide by 4” high.

Remove the foie gras rolled in the cheesecloth from the ice water bath and cut of the strings, handling very carefully and unroll it from the wet cheesecloth.

Place in the direct centre of the 6” by 4”moromi miso on the cheesecloth.

Roll up the foie gras in the cheesecloth (very tightly) to form a salami shape. A little trick here is to place a weight on the far end of the cheesecloth to give some resistance when rolling. You will see the miso mixture “bleed through”, it will get messy!

Tie one end of the “sausage” shape very tightly with twine. Twist and squeeze the other end the same and tie of (It is great if you have someone to help you on this step; they tie as you twist – the tighter the better!)

Repeat the exact same process with second log. Once both are tied take 10 - 8” piece of twine and tie the log snuggly at 1” -2” intervals so it resembles tied salami.

Now tie a 10” – piece of twine to the end of the cheesecloth and hang the torchon in the fridge.

DAYS 4 and 5:

Allow the torchon to hang untouched!

DAY 6:

Cut down the torchon and carefully cut away all the twine and unwrap carefully from the cheesecloth; if not needed right away wrap in plastic wrap and keep chilled until needed. (Never leave the foie gras torchon out until needed as it will get soft which is undesirable – the colder the better!))

Alternatively, slice the foie gras torchon to form ¾-inch coins and serve (a great accompaniment here is fruit/spice chutneys, baked apples and tropical fruit jams/salsas and crisp toast points)

The torchon will last 1 week. You may freeze and serve at a later date.

(Serves 8-12 as an hors d’oeuvre)


I had the wonderful pleasure of enjoying this foie gras dish and the accompanying wine. Certainly Pataran is a genius and the pairing of the wine was exquisite. Makes me a proud Canadian in the Bahamas. Thanks Zoltan for helping host such a fantastic evening.
Post Reply By sherry in Nassau on 12/1/2008 11:42:00 AM

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