I am not ashamed to say that I love Foie Gras de Canard. The texture of this duck liver is wonderful. Whether it is flash grilled and seared or served cold as in a terrine, torchon or pâté. Yummy! 🙂 .
I also love Pho.
So it seemed natural to me to put the two together. Like introducing a close friend to another close friend.
“Hello Foie Gras, meet my buddy Harng Gwar”. 😉 . (Harng Gwar is what Laotians call Oxtail).
Before I set about making this duet of sorts I had to think carefully about how I would wanted the textures to turn out. I knew I wanted it to be served cold, which is okay for the Foie Gras, but I had to be careful with the Oxtail.
I had to make sure that the Oxtail Pho was cooked sufficiently until the meat was very tender and was falling off the bone. I also had to ensure that the stock was seasoned well as the Oxtail would be served cold, serving dishes cold can mute the seasonings.
Hence I had to make a “double cooked” Pho.
Firstly the Pho was prepared in the traditional manner, albeit for a longer time. The Oxtail was then removed and allowed to cool. The remaining Stock was strained and placed in our Blast Chiller (which basically makes it colder faster (and safer) than a refrigerator). Once the liquid was chilled, the surface of fat that sets on the top was removed.
It was then reheated, seasoned and reduced along with the Oxtail for a few more hours. The result was a more concentrated Pho which had the meat melting away from the bone. After straining again, I removed as much fat as possible from the meat (cold lumpy cow fat is not so appealing). 😯
The Pho Stock would then be clarified and further reduced.
Before I even set about making the Pho I had to tend to the Foie Gras.
Our Duck Livers are supplied in Sous Vide Bags (Vacuum packed). It has to be cleaned, deveined, soaked overnight, seasoned, marinated overnight and then semi cooked (mi cuit), then lightly pressed and chilled.
Foie Gras Mi Cuit.
Though the liver cooks in its own rendered fat, the majority of the liquid fat is discarded for this particular dish.
Lightly pressing down on the Foie Gras makes the liver more compact and leaves room for the meat.
Next a layer of the Oxtail was placed on top with a few spoonfuls of further reduced Pho Stock. Its natural gelatinous properties would help “set” the dish. It was then lightly pressed again and kept chilled for 24 hours.
You can see some of the “set” Pho Stock that has seeped out from the pressing. It has the texture of a light jelly.
The next day, the Pho Gras is turned out with the Oxtail on the bottom and the Foie Gras on top.
The whole thing has set very nicely.
It will be cut it to portions and before being plated, some Brown Sugar will be sprinkled on top and given a short burst of the Blow Torch treatment to add a little crunchiness and sweetness to the Foie Gras.
At the moment I am still not sure what to serve it with. Perhaps some sweet Tamarind and Mango Chutney? or a Sweet Sherry Gelée, or perhaps a pickled Chilli? (that would be interesting), but one step at a time…..