Sunday, September 20, 2009

Taking the Cure: Charcuterie Class at the FCI Part 2

Throughout the class, Dan Akroyd portraying Julia Child saying "Save the liver!" is on endless loop in my head.  In my hand in an entire lobe of foie gras I am painstakingly removing veins from, with my fingers.  It kind of like playing with the most expensive can of PlayDo ever.

Saturday's class brought us into the world of pates and terrines, mixtures of ground meat, fat, and various flavorings that are slowly cooked.  We would be making a country pate out of pork shoulder and a foie gras terrine out of well, foie gras.  Therefore, liver would be playing a starring role today, sans fava beans and a nice Chianti.

The country pate was up first.  We had to roughly chop some pork, some fat back and some pork liver to get the party started.  The tough part was removing the skin from the liver.  Sometimes, it came off without a fight, most often is hung on with a tenacious death grip.  All the above ingredients were put into a large bowl with salt, sugar, white pepper, garlic, some armagnac and some other spices.  All this was gently mixed together by hand.  Being elbow deep in ice cold liver was not something I am accustomed to doing so early on a Saturday morning.   This mixture was transferred to a caul fat lined terrine and cooked in a water bath until the internal temperature reached 145 degrees Fahrenheit.  This has to sit for a while to reach maximum flavor, so I don't know how it turned out yet.  This is not a class for the immediate gratification set.

We got a little break to taste last weeks ham(Yum!) and to watch Chef Pascal demo the making of a dry sausage.  Then it was on to the foie gras terrine.  Chef demoed how to clean the foie gras then it was our turn.  If you did not dwell on the fact that you were picking through some ducks' extra fatty liver, the task was fine.  It did not have a livery consistency, more like butter.  In fact, it even looked a lot like butter.  Butter that had veins running though it, but what the heck.  This was marinaded in salt, paprika, pepper, Sauternes, and Cognac.  We will have to wait until next Saturday to see how well this turned out.

In the interim, we got to taste our creations from last week.  The salami "Slim Jims" came out great.  The pancetta had a great flavor to it.  The duck confit was also a winner.  One of our classmates crisped up the skin on one of the legs for some extra tastiness.  He was very, very happy.


Fresh Local and Best said...

I think it is very exciting that you are taking a class on sausage making, and working to make such exquisite creations as foie gras terrine.

Cajun Chef Ryan said...

When I taught Garde Manger at the culinary institute the Charcuterie section was always a fun class. Pate, terrine, gallontines, sausages, forcemeats, etc... so many to choose from and so little time!
Thanks for sharing!