This dish is a favorite among gourmets, but most people have rather conflicting feelings. It is tender, melts in the mouth and leaves an unusual aftertaste. What are you talking about? Of course, about a special way cooked goose liver paste. This gastronomic masterpiece from French culinary experts is a traditional Christmas dish and a symbol of luxury. Every self-respecting person should try it at least once in his life. We will tell about how goose liver paste is called, how to cook it and serve it correctly to the table, in our article. Imagine several options for its preparation.
Goose liver paste: what is it called and why?
This dish is unique not only in France, but throughout the world. They prepare it from a goose liver and call it a paste, although the ingredients for it are almost never crushed to a homogeneous state. And there is one simple explanation for this. But first you need to say what is called goose liver paste. And only after that you can start preparing it.
In French, the name of the paste is like foie gras. In Russian, the dish is called foie gras. Translated, this means "fatty liver." For its preparation, an offal of a goose, fed in a special way, is really used. To make the liver large and fat, the bird is placed in a cage. Then goose is fed forcefully, literally by the hour. This diet leads to an increase in by-product in the amount exceeding the normal by 10 times.
So why is foie gras still a paste? The fact is that the goose’s fatty liver after heat treatment is so tender that it simply melts in the mouth and, accordingly, does not need additional grinding. Thus, the taste and consistency of the finished dish resembles a real paste. It turns out so dense that it is cut into slices and not spread on bread, as most people are used to.
In addition to the natural goose liver, other ingredients can be added to the paste. But their content should not exceed 50%. In France, this is fixed at the legislative level.
The history of the dish
Although the foie gras recipe relates to French cuisine, the technology of forced feeding of geese with the aim of obtaining a fatter and better quality liver was invented by the ancient Egyptians 4000 years ago. They raised their domestic birds on a fig. Later, the same technology was adopted from Jews, who ate only goose fat, and the liver itself, which was considered non-kosher, was profitably sold. But the Romans, on the contrary, prepared only an offal of geese and ducks. Goose liver paste was one of the most popular dishes of the ancient world.
The first foie gras recipes date back to the 4th-5th centuries. But there is no step-by-step description of the cooking process. But in the French cookbooks, starting from the XVII century, all actions are described in stages. That is why France is considered the birthplace of foie gras.
In French, goose liver paste is called foie gras. It is believed that the word foie, which translates as “liver”, came from the Latin ficatum, which means “figs”. But the ancient Egyptians just fed the geese with figs.
Today, France is considered the leader in the production of goose liver. Hungary, Belgium, Spain, the USA and Poland keep up with the French. And in the Alsace region, special-breed birds are grown, the liver of which weighs up to 1.2 kg.
Foie gras with pear: ingredients
To prepare the most famous goose liver dish, you will need the following ingredients:
- goose liver - 500 g;
- pear - 1 pc .;
- cognac - 70 ml;
- butter - 20 g;
- salt - ½ tsp;
- black pepper - ½ tsp;
- sugar - ¼ tsp;
The liver can be used as a whole piece mi and block, but not necessarily in crude form. Any pears will do. But note that first you need to soak them in cognac, and after that proceed to the liver.
Step-by-step preparation of the dish
The foie gras recipe includes the following sequence of actions:
- Cut the liver lengthwise into plates 0.8-1 cm thick. The slices should not be too thin, as a lot of fat will be released from them during frying.
- Goose liver plates salt, add black pepper.
- Put the slices on a dry frying pan heated over medium heat. Neither vegetable nor butter need to be added. The fat in the liver is enough.
- Fry the slices on each side for exactly 1 minute. Put foie gras on a clean plate. Drain the fat from the pan. It can still be used to prepare other dishes.
Now you can do some fruit to serve the dish.
Pears in cognac
This stage of cooking foie gras can be divided into steps:
- Peel the pears and cut into 4-6 parts. Pepper them a little, add sugar and cognac. Stir the pears in alcohol and leave for 40-60 minutes at room temperature to marinate.
- Melt a piece of butter in a saucepan with a thick bottom or in a frying pan and fry the fruit on it, after draining the juice from them. The fire must be strong so that the pears cook quickly and do not fall apart.
- After a couple of minutes pour the alcohol in which they were soaked onto the almost ready fruits. At the same stage, pears are recommended to be flamed. To do this, lower the burning match into cognac. A fire will immediately flare up. If there is little alcohol, it will go out on its own. If this happens after 30 seconds, cover the stewpan with a lid.
Serve foie gras with cognac pear immediately. To do this, put the liver on a slice of whole grain bread and pour the remaining juice.
Goose liver terrine
The following dish is a great snack option for the festive table. This is a real delicacy, with a mild exquisite taste and pleasant aroma. Terrine, or baked paste, is both soft and dense in texture. It can be served as an appetizer on crackers or toasts.
Preparing the terrine is quite simple:
- Goose liver (1 kg) cut lengthwise into three layers.
- In one container, combine 150 ml of port and 50 ml of brandy.
- Fold all 3 layers of the liver into a 25 cm baking dish. Sprinkle each layer with salt, pepper and nutmeg and pour with a mixture of alcohol.
- Tighten the mold with cling film and refrigerate for 5 hours.
- Heat the oven to 150 degrees.
- Prepare a deep baking sheet. Put a terrine mold in it, tightening it with foil or covering it with a lid. Pour enough hot water into the pan so that it reaches the middle of the mold.
- Cook the terrine for 20 minutes. Then remove the form from the oven, remove the lid, and put 0.2 kg of oppression on top of the liver.
- Cool the dish first at room temperature and then in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
The simplest goose liver paste
As a rule, foie gras are not crushed until homogeneous state. This simply is not necessary, because the liver, which contains so much fat inside, is already so soft that it literally melts in the pan and in the mouth. But if you wish, you can cook a more familiar for us goose liver paste. The following step-by-step instructions will tell you how to do it:
- Melt pork fat (100 g) in a pan and fry 3 onions and 2 carrots chopped in it in a pan.
- After 5 minutes add goose liver to the vegetables (0 , 5 kg), cutting offal into small pieces. Cook for 10 minutes. At the very end, add 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp black pepper and ½ tsp. nutmeg.
- Transfer the liver with vegetables (without fat) into a convenient dish and grind with a dipping blender until smooth.
- Return the paste to the pan, pour 200 ml of milk into it. Dip the dish under the lid for another 5 minutes, then cool and serve.
Duck liver pate
Almost 90% of foie gras is not made from goose liver . And all because raising ducks is more economically feasible than geese. Such a dish turns out to be more budgetary, and it is possible to cook it for almost every person. And you need to do this like this:
- Cut the duck liver into pieces of 1.5 cm each.
- Fry shallots in a pan with a small amount of olive oil (4 pcs. ) until golden brown.
- Put pieces of liver to the onion. Fry them on one side and on the other side for 1 minute. Season with salt, pepper, Provencal herbs to taste.
- Grind the ingredients with a blender until tender, adding 30 ml of cognac if desired. Give the finished paste a beautiful shape, and then cool it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
How to serve foie gras
This goose liver dish is served with a side dish, or simply with bread or a cracker in the form of a sandwich. To make a thick paste easily cut into portions, it needs to be cooled well, and 15 minutes before cooking, get the snacks out of the refrigerator.
When serving, foie gras are cut into thin slices no more than 1 cm thick. the delicate liver harmonizes well with sweet sauces and red wine.