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Questions about salt cured foie gras

estnet Jun 28, 2012 04:33 PM

I've found recipes that recommend putting the foie in salt for 12 to 48 hours. How do I tell if it's done?

  1. chefj Jun 28, 2012 05:07 PM

    Trust in the Recipe poster/author.
    There is not really an easy visual way to confirm the cure. I think that 12 hours is a very short time to cure assuming your Liver is 2"-3" in Diameter I cure for 36 to 48 hours.

    4 Replies
    1. re: chefj
      estnet Jun 28, 2012 07:43 PM

      Thanks - the 12 hours was from an Alice Waters recipe but that seemed really short to me - does it taste different when it is properly cured compared to raw?
      Also I think the salt is supposed to "draw out" the water (at least for other types of meat) but there isn't much water to draw out of the foie - should the salt get "harder" like if there was moisture in it?

      1. re: estnet
        chefj Jun 29, 2012 04:07 PM

        Yes it loses it raw flavor and is a bit denser. But in the process you clean it of veins and sinew, flavor it with brandy and/or spices all these things change flavor and texture. The salt acts as a preservative, desiccant and seasoning.

        1. re: chefj
          estnet Jun 29, 2012 08:49 PM

          Thanks - I tasted a bit at about 20 hours and I think it still tasted raw, but at 48 hours it seemed to have changed texture and was a bit different looking on the outside. I didn't flavor b/c I wanted to try it first to see how just "pure" would taste and so far it is very good and delicate (tried with warmed lightly carmelized fresh apricots which softened it so I could eat right away and it was a great combination).

          I'm going to leave it another 12 hours. any further info or help is welcome :)

          1. re: estnet
            chefj Jul 2, 2012 03:29 PM

            Remember that although salt cured you may still need a sprinkle of finishing salt, it will be quite bland with out it. The Liver does not pick up much salt from the cure especially if there was no liquid (Cognac i.e.).
            48 hours sounds long enough unless it was particularly large.

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