Foie Gras Torchon with Cranberry Gastrique

Chef Ben Smith, Tsunami

Each Christmas, Ben prepares this dish for his family’s holiday dinner. “We all look forward to this annual treat, but none of us anticipate it more than my daughter, Ayden. She has been a fan of this dish since the first time she tasted it as a small child. She is the official first taster each year and announces whether or not it meets with her approval,” says Ben. “Every year, she and I savor the last few bites of the foie gras, just the two of us. For some reason we always do it over the kitchen sink, often washed down with a tiny glass of sauterne. It’s our personal holiday tradition.”

holiday recipes

For an elegant bite for the holidays, serve foie gras torchon with cranberry gastrique like Chef Ben Smith of Tsunami does every year. “We all look forward to this annual treat,” he says. Image: Tsunami

Foie Gras Torchon with Cranberry Gastrique

Chef Ben Smith of Tsunami
This elegant bite is a decadent holiday treat.
5 from 1 vote
Course Appetizer


For the Foie Gras Torchon:

  • 1 whole foie gras liver
  • Milk to cover
  • 1/2 teaspoon quatre epice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 quarts chicken stock

For the Cranberry Gastrique:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup whole cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest


For the Foie Gras Torchon:

  • Place the foie gras in a snug container. Add enough milk to cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • The next day, drain and rinse the liver in cold water, then pat dry. Allow to come to room temperature.
  • Carefully separate the two lobes of the liver. Using a paring knife, carefully cut into the liver and remove the veins. Place the liver in a shallow baking dish and press it into an even layer about 1-inch thick.
  • Mix together the quatre epice, kosher salt and sugar and season the liver evenly. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it tightly on top to keep the air out. Refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, remove the liver from the refrigerator and again bring to room temperature. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and roll into a tight tube about 8-inches long. Remove from the parchment paper and place it on a length of cheesecloth. Again, roll into a tube as tightly as possible. Twist the ends, then tie with kitchen twine.
  • In a saucepan large enough to fit the liver, bring two quarts of chicken stock to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water large enough to fit the liver on hand. Carefully lower the liver into the boiling stock and simmer for 90 seconds. Immediately remove from the stock and place it in the ice bath. Allow to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, remove the liver from the ice bath and roll it up in a clean dish towel. Tie the ends with kitchen twine and hang it up, if possible, in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To serve, remove the foie gras from the kitchen towel and cheesecloth. With a warm knife, slice into desired thickness. Serve on toasted rounds of brioche bread. Drizzle with the cranberry gastrique (recipe below).

For the Cranberry Gastrique:

  • Bring the sugar and vinegar to a boil in a heavy saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the cranberries and the orange zest. Return to a boil, stirring gently.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Can be used as is or puréed and strained.
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Bon appétit!


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