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Foie Gras question

Hi recently bought a D'artagnan foie gras from a well known site a few days ago cuz' it was 50% off. Very happy with the purchase.

My question. do you have to devein the foie gras if you're going to sear it? Or is this strictly a preference?

I emailed D'Artagnan and they suggested I don't have to if im going to sear it but I need to if im going to make a pate or torchon.

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  1. You don't have to but you really should,if for nothing else but presentation. Foie is so precious that to skip that step would be wrong IMHO.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Duppie

      I agree. And the nerves are skeevy -- like having string embedded in the food of the gods.

      1. re: sunshine842

        Exactly... the veins do get chewy when exposed to heat.De veining does take some practice to limit waste but that's why the French devised torchons.

    2. It seems like they're pretty much mushing the foie when deveining it, do they reshape it back on the foil??

      3 Replies
      1. re: JMan604

        Not in foil - in a torchon (towel) or in a terrine (baking dish).

        And no, it's not mushing it -- you carefully follow the nerves through the liver with very sharp knife so as to minimize the damage to the foie.

        1. re: sunshine842

          yes however I will be searing it. Will leaving the vein make a difference?

          1. re: JMan604

            Yes, as Sunshine and I indicated the vein/nerve toughens up when cooked and it's akin to finding a piece of butcher's twine in your mouth. I understand you may be a bit nervous attempting the de veining process but I promise you it's well worth it.

      2. Seems like you got a pretty reliable answer already (from D'Artagnan)… It is hard to get nice-looking slices for searing if you devein the liver as you would do when cooking it whole, since this involves cutting the liver open lengthwise. It's a good idea to use smaller livers (whose veins will be less noticeable) for searing. If you see big veins after slicing, you can just pull them out.

        Here are some cooking sites that explicitly confirm that the foie gras is not deveined for this type of preparation:

        1. I've seared it without deveining before, and regretted it.

          1. I seared the foie gras without deveining it as per D'Artagnan's recommendation, I nor my guest did not taste any veins at all. IT WAS BY FAR the creamiest foie gras i've ever tasted and what's amazing is that Im the one that cooked it.

            Their product is amazing. I don't know why I was so scared it making foie gras before.

            on the side note, I also made beef wellington, equally amazing.

            8 Replies
            1. re: JMan604

              And I'm sure we're all happy for you, but by your own admission, that may work fine with a small lobe where veins are not as readily apparent,but some of us may have purchased a larger lobe where that is not an option.You chose not to but I can assure you that the process is taught in every culinary school that deals with Foie Gras.I venture that D'Artagnan's will indeed not stress the process so as not to scare away kitchen neophytes and in turn lose sales.

              1. re: Duppie

                I don't see any message where JMan604 "admits" to purchasing a small lobe. I was the one who suggested — as a general tip — to use smaller livers for this preparation. If you don't have this option, then I would recommend deveining after slicing, and only worrying about it if you see large veins that can be easily removed. For terrine cooking, of course, full deveining is de rigueur and it's not as a big a deal as many people make it out to be, precisely because the style of cooking kind of glues everything back together. Not the case for searing.

                  1. re: DeppityDawg

                    I promise you'll only make the mistake of not deveining one time. Taking a big bite of what's supposed to be heavy, silky foie, hearing choruses of angels beginning to sing in yor ears, and getting *pleh* what the hell was THAT ew ew ew ew will cure you of taking shortcuts with foie gras for life.

                    It's not that hard to devein-- you just follow the nerves through the foie with a sharp knife -- even the very first time I did it, I didn't make a huge mess of it, and it gets cleaner every time I do it.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      I promise you, I've never had any problems. And I don't see any way to get this:
                      if you first do this:

                      If you have a method for getting full-sized, presentable escalopes from a manually deveined liver, please share it with us.

                  2. re: Duppie

                    I received a 1.77 lb lobe :D

                    Thank you for the reply. I will read all the links and hopefully all the information sinks in before my 2nd attempt in making a better version of seared foie gras. :)

                    1. re: JMan604

                      I received a 1.61lb lobe, despite having paid for a 1.8lb to 2.4lb, from GourmetFoodStore. FYI, Don't use their service. I have used 25% and thus far not deveining has made absolutely no difference. Are the other people cutting with the veins or against them? Maybe that is the difference? Just a theory.

                  3. re: JMan604

                    Hi, foie gras fans! We at D'Artagnan do not remove the veins when searing foie gras. It's not necessary at all. Little short pieces of the veins will not interfere with your eating enjoyment--which we see that you discovered.

                    You will want to remove the large veins when making a torchon or terrine because in these applications you use the entire lobe of foie gras. After it is cooked, you'd find the veins intact in your terrine, and they could be stringy. Also, there could still be blood in them, which will mar the look of the end product.

                    Thanks for ordering our foie gras!

                  4. If you are searing the foie gras there is no reason to remove the vein, when you slice it look for the vein in the liver - if you see it you can then remove it before you sear it, otherwise removing it will cause damage to the looks of the liver.

                    Deveining is done for terrines, pate's or torchon's like you were told. If you do want to devein it for that purpose you would want to warm he foie gras up to room temperature and then separate the two lobes and you will see a vein connecting the two. The large lobe the vein form a Y one going down and one going up - remove that vein using your fingers and any fat nodules. The smaller lobe has just one vein and again follow it along with your fingers and remove it.

                    Also remove any discolorations from the liver (green or red blotches with knife).

                    Good luck and enjoy

                    1. Never tried foie gras and I want to. Is the stringy issue with the vein or the nerves or both?


                      7 Replies
                      1. re: JuniorBalloon

                        If it's the whole lobe, there are veins AND nerves - and if you don't buy them from d'Artagnan (whose foie apparently is magically different than foie from any other source) - they do need to be removed before cooking.

                        Nerves and veins won't hurt you in any way -- it's just an unpleasant texture in what should be smooth and velvety.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Our foie is not magically different, it does have veins--we just subscribe to the view that when slicing and searing foie gras, it is not necessary to remove the veins. Since the person who asked the original question seemed to enjoy creamy foie gras with the veins left in... we rest our case.

                            1. re: DArtagnan_Inc

                              How much does the shipping cost for 1 whole lobe?

                            2. re: sunshine842

                              sunshine :), I have to respectfully disagree with you. Before the State of CA banned the production I used to buy from Sonoma Foie Gras. I cut in 3/4" slices, seasoned and seared briefly. It was perfect and didn't need anything done to it.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                I agree with you. I seared a few pieces this weekend with no problems whatsoever. Maybe they are cutting the liver long ways instead of the short ways.. for lack of a more eloquent explanation. I cut it like a steak but maybe they are cutting like you would a filet.

                          1. I just bought what appears to be the same product but purchased from GourmetFoodStore for a larger price.
                            GourmetFoodStore: 1 whole lobe 1.8 lbs - 2.4 lbs, $152
                            D'Artagnan: 1 whole lobe average 1.8 lbs, $112
                            Is the 'possible' weight difference the reason for the difference in pricing?
                            D'Artagnan this is why I was inquiring about your shipping costs hoping that I did not spend an extra $40 for no reason, especially when it's already in the process of being shipped here.

                            1. I recently learned, watching a re-run of Petitrenaud, that you can also cook a whole liver without deveining, according to Michel Guérard. Here is the recipe:

                              1. Getting a piece of foie with a vein in it is very off-putting. If you are comfortable doing it, I would devein it.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: wincountrygirl

                                  I seared a few large slices yesterday and have not yet come across any textural difference from not having deveined it. Granted this is just a few examples, maybe I will change my mind later on but thus far I don't see a difference.

                                  1. re: neilmcginnis

                                    I'm not sure how long your foie should just sit in the fridge. I cut mine in half, wrap each tightly in plastic and then foodsaver it. My two whole ones, cut into four pieces, lasted me almost a year with no change in taste or texture that I could discern.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      I wish I had a foodsaver... That is a good idea.. I am not sure how long either.. I figure a few days would be okay since it's almost all fat it's hard like a rock when cold. Usually food with large amounts of fat preserves well although I am aware that organ meats usually go bad quickly so I am a bit concerned about that.

                                      1. re: neilmcginnis

                                        What I do with burgers (we grind our own meat) is to wrap tightly in plastic and then into a zipping bag. It stays red with no freezer burn for months that way. That was a real splurge for me so I really wanted it to last a while. Plus only having it every few months made it even more special..

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          I really appreciate your recommendation but I cannot bring myself to use plastic in light of the estrogen-like chemicals it releases. Sorry to be a downer. lol. Recent research confirms that virtually ALL plastic leaches these chemicals. The BPA free plastics are simply using other chemicals that have not been fully tested. I already have man boobs I dont need any estrogen.