Torchon of Foie Gras: 3 Pairings

Table Mates by | Aug 2015 | Issue #103

Photo courtesy of Birch & Barley

At Birch & Barley in Washington DC, chef Kyle Bailey blends the decadent flavors of house-cured foie gras with seasonal fruits from local farms and peppery greens grown in the restaurant’s rooftop garden. Studded with pistachios, the foie gras is rolled into a torchon, cured, and wrapped in a thin layer of dehydrated Bing cherry puree. Once sliced, the foie is accompanied by a cherry puree, wineberries and a fresh salad of sorrel, bloody dock and fennel, and it’s served with housemade black pepper brioche. Beer director Greg Engert suggests three beer pairings for the dish.

§ucaba | 12.5% ABV
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Slow oxidation unleashes notes of toasted vanilla and hazelnut in this aged brew, transforming a bold ale into liquid marzipan with echoes of Oloroso sherry. Once the Barleywine infuses the foie, the creamy richness meets the muddled fruit accompaniment for a tasting experience redolent of sipping a Sherry Cobbler cocktail.

Habanero Sculpin | 7.0% ABV
Ballast Point Brewing Co.
The hoppy brew’s habanero heat and herbal undertones play off of the pistachio, foie and sorrel for a riff on spicy Pad Thai. Meanwhile, the peppery, slightly acidic flavors of the chili not only provide a delicious counterpoint to the sweeter flavors of the fruit accompaniment, they also dovetail nicely with the balsamic-dressed fennel and black pepper brioche.

Café Royale | 8.0% ABV
AleWerks Brewing Co.
This barrel-aged beer brings milk sugar, vanilla and coconut notes to mirror the flavors of the foie gras itself, while providing a delicious complement to the Bing cherries and wineberries. Roasted malt notes in the Stout finish off the dish’s dessert-like transformation with a generous milk chocolate drizzle.