How do you prep & sear foie gras?

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Selecting Foie Gras

The foie grade you select is important as different grades are suited to different applications:

  • Grade A foie is the best choice for searing because it’s firmer, larger, and better looking.
  • Grade B can also be used for searing in a pinch, but is best suited to applications like pates & terrines.  If you sear it, more fat will render out than Grade A.  Grade B also has more visible veins that you’ll want to remove.
  • Grade C is much too soft for searing and is typically reserved for sauces.


Preparing Foie Gras for Searing

Because foie gras, like other offal, is very perishable (lasting approximately two days fresh/thawed), raw foie will probably be sold frozen and you’ll need to thaw it first (general thawing tips – we recommend the fridge method).

If your foie has any green spots, blood spots, or surface fat, you’ll want to remove them.  Many (if not most) chefs will then soak the foie in salted ice water or milk (in the fridge) for up to two hours.  After two hours, remove it from the bath and rinse it off.

Foie livers have veins (more common in grades B and C).  While veins will shrink during cooking, it’s best to remove them from foie prior to cooking it.  To do this, separate the two lobes & remove any connective tissue that’s where they were attached.  Then either slice the foie and then pull the veins out, or use needle nose pliers or tweezers to pull out the veins that you can reach from the surface.

Searing Foie

Foie is almost completely fat, so it will shrink and render down very quickly.  As a result you want to cook foie slices very, very briefly over very high heat.  Slice it fairly thickly, dry it off, put the slices in a hot, un-oiled pan (don’t over-crowd the pan), and sear just until the surface is browned.  Serve immediately.

– Question Submitted by Jana L.

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