We did some basic red wine poached pears several weeks ago. The addition of the seared torchon takes this to a whole other level of experience. I love this dish not just for the gamut of taste experience it runs, but for its versatility. It can be an appetizer, a dessert course or a whole feature unto itself. I like this after a little bread and cheese course; a terrific foil and a perfect ending to a satisfying meal experience. The addition of the Asian pear add a contextual crunch, as it remains a little crisper after poaching than the Anjou pear. If you don’t make the torchon, just slice some of the foie and pan sear; either way it’s 20 minutes to Nirvana.
- Anjou pears, cored with skin on or peeled
- Asian pears, cored with skin on or peeled
- Red Wine Poaching Liquid (recipe follows)
- Torchon of Foie Gras, cut ~ ½ to ¾ inch thick
- Seasoned flour
Red Wine Poaching Liquid:
- 1 cup of red wine (something you would drink by itself)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 split vanilla bean
- 1 cinnamon stick
If you need more poaching liquid, just increase the amounts maintaining the same ratios (thanks Michael Ruhlman!). Bring the liquid to a boil to dissolve the sugar and then reduce to a simmer. Poach for about 10 minutes per side. Remove the pears and allow them to cool. While the pears cool, turn up the heat and reduce the remaining liquid by 1/2 to 2/3. At the same time heat a heavy bottomed pan over high heat. Score one side of the torchon. Lightly dust the torchon in the seasoned flour and shake off any excess. Place the torchon in the smoking pan and cook 1-2 minutes each side forming a nice sear and crust. Remove and plate with the cooled fruit. Drizzle a little of the reduced liquid over the pears and torchon.