So a few weeks ago I totaled a gorgeous hunk of foie gras while attempting to make WD-50’s famous Knot Foie. I failed the first step – making a traditional foie gras terrine, and then in my second step – trying to make my leftover foie stretchy to make a knot. I referenced my copy of Larousse Gastronomique, the CIA’s The Professional Chef and the Internet to make sure my first attempt at a foie gras terrine was the right one. But I decided in order to get the exact internal temperature, I should use my combi oven.
I checked to see if there was anything online concerning cooking foie in a combi oven, and the closest I found was a thread on eGullet from 2005 on cooking foie sous vide. Leading the conversation was, naturally, Nathan Myhrvold. The thread didn’t seem to indicate there would be any issues. So I changed up the recipe and slow cooked my terrine until it hit around 138F internally.
About 70% of my foie gras turned to liquid. The recipe said there would be a small layer – mine was pretty much all oil! I tried to pour it off and tamp down the remaining solids but it just failed big time. What went wrong?
I spoke with Chef Brian McCracken of Spur one night and told him what happened. He said that what I needed to do was throw the whole thing in the Vitamix and pour it back into the terrine. The usual next step – pour off the small layer of oil on top of the terrine – was uneccessary because the slow cooking liquidfied the thing. Just mix it back up and continue on.
Eric called this a double fail: not only did I screw up the terrine, but I was doing it right, then blew it. Then Eric texted me this photo:
Oh, look. WD-50’s Knot Foie. In Modernist Cuisine. I didn’t check Modernist Cuisine. Triple fail.
Had I checked it, I would have read things like
11. Reserve 50g of fat
12. Puree cooked foie gras
Konjac gum (Ticagel Konjac HV-D, TIC Gums brand)
I had tried using Glucomannan flour on the remaining foie I had as my konjac gum. The result was goop instead of stretchy goodness.
So a good lesson learned: if attempting to do a modern cooking technique to a traditional dish, maybe try checking Modernist Cuisine first. Yeah.
Pretty ironic but frustrating I’m sure. I’ve had so many failures that it makes it really gratifying when it finally comes off. I hope you manage to pull this one off at some point looks amazing.
Thanks! I plan on tackling it again for sure. But I’ve got my eye on some other things. Things that are a bit kinder on the wallet.