Cooking-ez.com

986 easy and fully explained recipes, with 11,969 photos and 77 videos

Home-made terrine of foie gras

Home-made terrine of foie gras

Preparing your own home-made foie gras from raw is immensively satisfying: good quality liver and a simply amazing flavour – much better than anything you can buy.

This recipe is a bit tricky, but quite within everyone's grasp, as long as you follow the 3 most delicate stages carefully. These are, in order: de-veining the liver, seasoning and cooking.

As usual, I have explained every stage of the recipe in full, with photos to help you.

4,003,606 64.8/5

Grade this recipe :

Last modified on: December 23th 2018

For 1 foie gras, you will need:

How long does it take?

PreparationRestingCookingStart to finish
4 days 12 hours 38 min.2 hours 32 min.40 min.4 days 15 hours 50 min.
Preservation: Several weeks in the fridge, covered with plastic film.
At what time?
When will I finish if I start the recipe at a certain time?
When should I start for the recipe to be ready at a certain time?
Work this out...

Step by step recipe

Stage 1
2 min.
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #1

De-veining:

Take the liver out of the fridge at least two hours beforehand, so it will be at room temperature and soft.

Rinse it thoroughly under warm water to eliminate any remaining traces of blood, then dry it with absorbant paper.
Stage 2
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #2 Pull the two lobes apart gently.
Stage 3
20 min.
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #3 Pull the veins carefully towards you and remove them, without breaking or cutting, by passing your fingers underneath and following them right to the end.

This is the first tricky stage of the recipe. Your hands will get very greasy (to be expected with a foie gras, you might say), and you should not leave any veins, or as few as possible.
Stage 4
1 min.
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #4 You might feel more comfortable working in fine rubber (surgical) gloves.

I recommend using a vegetable peeler as the point does the job quite well.

Another tip: have a bowl or a large cup in front of you and scrape the sticky veins off the blade into this as you work.
Stage 5
1 min.
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #5 Once done, don't worry about the forlorn look of the liver – it's past caring!
Stage 6
30 min.
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #6 To remove any traces of blood, put the liver in cold water with a tablepoonful of coarse salt and some ice cubes added, for half an hour.

Then rinse the liver under running cold water and dry on absorbant paper.
Stage 7
1 min.
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #7 Line a wide oven-proof (gratin) dish with cooking-grade plastic film.

This is not essential, it just makes cleaning the dish afterwards much easier.
Stage 8
2 min.
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #8 Spread the liver out in the dish in a single layer, as far as possible.
Stage 9
2 min.
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #9

Seasoning:

Start by adding the alcohol. Trickle a few shlurps of Armagnac and Porto over the liver.

You only need a little, otherwise the flavour of the booze will dominate over that of the liver, which is a shame.

Note: Prefer white alcohols instead of red ones, because red ones turn liver to grey when cooking.
Stage 10
4 min.
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #10 Weigh and mix the seasonings: salt, pepper, sugar and "quatre épices" spice blend (see below*). Do calculate these quantities carefully and respect the following proportions:7 g salt and 2 g pepper for 600 g liver.

The best way to do this is by using precise scales, but you can also measure them: 1 level teaspoon = 5 g of fine salt or 2.5 g of ground pepper (or near enough).

This is the second tricky stage of the recipe. It is important to use the right quantity of salt for the weight of liver. To help you, here is a little automatic calculator.
Stage 11
2 min.
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #11 After weighing the correct amounts, mix the seasonings and scatter the mixture over the liver.

To spread them more evenly, scatter half, then turn the pieces of liver before adding the other half.
Stage 12
12 hours
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #12 Cover the seasoned liver in its dish with a plastic film and refrigerate overnight.

Please note: the liver's maturing time in the fridge is important for the flavour. If you don't do this, it will still be good, but not quite as good as if left overnight.
Stage 13
2 hours
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #13 Next day, the liver is ready to be cooked. Take out of the fridge and remove the plastic film at least 2 hours before cooking.
Stage 14

Cooking

Stage 15
40 min.
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #15 Preheat the oven to 210°F (100°C), preferably without fan - quite unnecessary at such a low temperature.

Stick a thermometer into the thickest part of the liver and put in the oven.

If you'd like to keep the liver "pink", cook until the temperature reaches 122°F (50°C). For "mi-cuit" (just properly cooked, but not overdone), cook until it reaches 149°F (65°C).

If you don't have a thermometer, count 30 minutes cooking for "pink" and 45/50 minutes for "mi-cuit". Unfortunately, these times can only be approximate as your oven and the room temperature will have a marked effect on the cooking. In other words, as soon as you can, buy yourself a thermometer.
Stage 16
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #16 After cooking, the liver looks unattractive swimming in its fat and cooking juices, but don't worry, this is perfectly normal.
Stage 17
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #17 Now it's time to pack the terrine with the pieces of liver.

Use a skimmer to fish the pieces of liver out of the dish, drain them...
Stage 18
5 min.
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #18 ...and transfer to the terrine.

If you intend turning out the terrine later, choose the best-looking and largest pieces first to go in the bottom and finish up with the smaller ones (as in the photo).
Stage 19
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #19 If, on the other hand, you will be serving the terrine straight from the dish, save the best pieces until last (like in this photo).

This cooking method, inspired by chef Eric Leautey, is very efficient as the centre of the liver gets up to temperature more rapidly when it is in a thin layer. This is the method I use for years.
Stage 20
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #20
Stage 21
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #21
Stage 22
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #22
Stage 23
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #23 skimmer
Stage 24
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #24 Finish the terrine by pouring over a little of the molten fat from the cooking dish.
Stage 25
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #25 This is not just an attractive finishing touch; once set, it will help the terrine keep better.
Stage 26
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #26 The final stage is to compact the terrine a little. I use a block of polystyrene cut to fit the shape of the dish (but a piece of thick cardboard would do just as well), covered with aluminium foil. I place this on top of the contents of the terrine and stand two jars of jam on top. The weight of the full jars is enough to press the terrine.

Leave to cool for 2 hours at room temperature, then refigerate.
Stage 27
4 days
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #27 The "press" contraption can be removed after a couple of hours in the fridge.

Your terrine should be left for at least 4 days in the fridge before eating, to give time for the flavour to mature fully.
Stage 28
Home-made terrine of foie gras : Photo of step #28

Remarks

If you want a more natural taste, more pure foie gras, you can reduce the alcohol in this recipe to just one tablespoonful (or omit).

Again on the subject of alcohol, there is no need to be strict on the type or their number. Cognac and Armagnac are much the same (for the purposes of this recipe, at least); the same goes for sherry and port, or other fortified wines like Marsala, Maury, Madeira, etc.

For bread which goes best with foie gras, resist the temptation to use sliced industrial bread, or even worse brioche or other rich sweet bread (too soft, too sweet, too similar to foie gras). Better to use a more acidic, rustic bread like a classic "pain de campagne". For me, the best of all will always be a leaven-raised bread.

If you are worried about tackling this recipe, you can start with the easier method in terrine of foie gras.

If, like me, you are a foie gras aficionado but have a problem with the tradition of force-feeding geese, there is a glimmer of hope: check this out.

*In France, a blend of spices is sold as "quatre épices". You can make your own by mixing ground pepper, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.

Nutritional information

% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories by day for a woman (change to a man).

How much will it cost?

For 1 foie gras : 17.76 €

Note : These prices are only approximate.

Change currency:

Recipes which use this 5

Foie gras fingers
Foie gras fingers
Foie gras Chantilly
Foie gras Chantilly
Sarladaise potatoes
Sarladaise potatoes
Scallops with crunchy vegetables and wine sabayon
Scallops with crunchy vegetables and wine sabayon
Paté en croute (terrine in a pie crust)
Paté en croute (terrine in a pie crust)
And to drink?: One can discuss at length what wine to drink with foie gras but, at the risk of being controversial, I don't think a Sauternes goes at all well. Such a sweet wine is already too close to the sweet richness of the foie gras.

I suggest you try a dry white wine instead, which can bring out the flavour of the foie gras by contrasting with it. Why not a "Cotes du Jura blanc" (those from the Domaine Rolet in Arbois (France) are excellent).

If you really prefer a sweet wine, try something less sweet than a Sauternes, like "Coteaux du Layon, Croix blanche" a wine from the Loire valley, (those made by Sylvie Termeau at Rochefort/Loire are perfect).
Source: From Françoise who taught me everything.
Grade this recipe :

More recipes?

This recipe use (among others)
Fine (or table) saltFine (or table) salt: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Rolled chestnut and apple brioche, Shortcrust pastry (pâte brisée), Involtinis, Chocolate mousse with hazelnuts, New leavened bread, ... All
Brandy (Cognac or Armagnac)Brandy (Cognac or Armagnac): You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Coq au vin, Rabbit terrine, Rabbit terrine, Pâté de campagne, Crème de foie gras, ... All
Caster sugarCaster sugar: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Tatin apples with mascarpone cream, Brioche Tatin, Blackcurrant, vanilla and lime verrine , Flaky chocolate brioche, Jam doughnuts, ... All
PortPort: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Paté en croute (terrine in a pie crust), Foie gras cured in salt, Crème de foie gras, Lobster Thermidor, Pâté de campagne, ... All

News list of cooking-ez.com

Sign up to receive the latest recipes (next batch due to be sent on 2019-03-31)

I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your email with anyone else.

Your 6 comments or questions on this recipe

Post your comment or question

You are welcome, if you wish, to comment on this recipe: why you like it or not, what you have changed, what results it gave, point out a mistake or omission, etc. You can also ask a question. I answer all questions (in a broken English, sorry) unless someone else does it before me.
Please feel free to say what you think, I'm always very interested in your opinion. Your comment will appear on line with the recipe, so please write in standard readable English, not SIM or only in CAPITALS, otherwise your comment may be rejected.

Please look at advice for submitting a comment or image (what you should or should not do). By the way, don't type your e-mail address in the comment, otherwise you might be spammed.

I am not a leaving thing

Follow this recipe (as 72 people already do)

If you are interested in this recipe, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the recipe is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your email with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of cooling-ez.com , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page