Our Foie Gras Atelier

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There was a time when we used to eat quite a lot of foie gras. In the winter, we would often rent a gîte for a long weekend somewhere in the country within a couple of hours from Paris and set off with a few slices of foie gras from the traiteur, a côte de boeuf, lamb chops, champagne, a vintage red or two, a couple of dozen of spéciale oysters and a bottle of sancerre. However, after we bought Closerie Falaiseau four years ago and renovated our Renaissance fireplace, we started coming down here instead. Now we only eat foie gras in restaurants occasionally and at Christmas. when we make our own.

Simon and Susan from Days on the Claise, Janet, Françoise and Paul

Simon and Susan from Days on the Claise, Janet, Françoise and Paul

Today, for the second time, we had a “foie gras workshop” with our friends Susan and Simon from Days on the Claise and our neighbours Françoise and Paul. Susan picks up the foie gras (ordered well in advance) from a local farm. Another friend from Amboise joined us this time. Up until now her French mother-in-law has always made the foie gras and she (understandably) didn’t want to compete. But this year, her mother-in-law won’t be present so she thought she’d have a try.

The foie gras in its wooden wine box

The foie gras in its wooden wine box

The foie gras we make these days doesn’t require cooking. After deveining it and adding spices and vouvray, you wrap it in gauze, put it in a wooden wine box on a layer of coarse salt, cover it with salt  and store it in a cool place (10 to 12°C) for 17 hours. You take it out of the salt and gauze, put it in a terrine and keep it in the fridge for at least 10 days. Perfect timing for Christmas. It’s melt-in-the-mouth! If you’d like a full explanation, just click here.

 

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7 Responses to Our Foie Gras Atelier

  1. Quite a few cheerful smiles, I see!

  2. Helen says:

    It looks so much larger than I imagined.

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      An average foie gras is about 500 grams. Jean Michel, Susan and Janet all have ones that are about 660 grams. Françoise and Paul’s weighed 800 grams! They are divided into two lobes which also makes them look a bit bigger.

  3. Anda says:

    Aren’t you guys lucky to have access to so much foie gras? California prohibits the “force feeding” of the geese as well as the sale of all products that are a result of this process, so we can’t have any here. Just reading your post I started drooling. I didn’t realize that you don’t have to cook it before you store it. Well, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it at Christmas.

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      Ah, what a pity! Of course, this is something that ducks and geese naturally do and foie gras has been used since Roman times but I can understand that it stresses a lot of people to know that the animals are being force fed.

  4. Lesley says:

    Living in a country and a Departement that relishes foie gras I am sorry that I just don’t like it. I think it is the texture, and the same goes for some patés. I love the idea of DIY and a workshop with friends though, and hope that you enjoy your efforts this holiday season.

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      Hi Lesley, what a pity but I understand perfectly. I don’t like a lot of soups and uncooked pears because of the texture!

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