Foie Gras Sous-vide with Sauternes, Beetroot and Roquefort

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Georges Pralus of Restaurant Troisgros in Roanne, France, discovered that foie gras cooked sous-vide kept its original appearance, did not lose excess amounts of fat and had better texture. This was a major step in the development of sous-vide techniques for the restaurant and home kitchens. Although I’ve been cooking sous-vide, I had not cooked foie gras sous-vide yet. Since it was such a breakthrough dish, I felt I had to give it a try. The combination of foie gras with the botrytis dessert wine sauternes is famous, and since sauternes is also good with roquefort and roquefort is good with beetroot, I came up with this combination. It was delicious, and I did like the taste and texture of the foie gras cooked this way. The recipe is otherwise very simple: with such ingredients it is sufficient to just let them shine.

If you have very fresh foie gras, you could also use it raw for this dish. Just make sure it’s very cold when you cut it, otherwise it’s very difficult to make nice slices. Since I served this as part of a larger dinner party, I did not take photos of all the steps.

Foie gras is the fattened liver of a goose or duck. It has a bad reputation due to forced-feeding methods that are not thought to be goose or duck-friendly, but it is possible to find ‘organic’ foie gras that is produced in a more natural way. As an advantage, the organic foie gras also has a better taste.

Ingredients

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foie gras (goose or duck)

sauternes wine

roquefort blue cheese

beetroots

salt

Preparation

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Put the foie gras in a sous-vide ziploc bag with the sauternes. Submerge the bag in cold water to remove as much air as possible with the water deplacement method. I used half a bottle of sauternes (375 ml or 1 1/2 cups) for about 450 grams (1 pound) of goose liver. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Wrap the beetroot(s) in foil and roast them in the oven at 200C/400F for an hour. Allow them to cool in the oven overnight with the door closed.

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Cook the foie gras together with the sauternes sous-vide at 57C/135F for 2 hours in the same zip pouch.

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Reserve the liquids from the bag and put the foie gras on a plate. Handle the liver very carefully, as it will be extremely soft. Let it firm up in the refrigerator. You could put it in a mold of your choice to give it a nice looking shape.

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Bring the liquids to a boil and let simmer for a minute to sterilize it and to let any scum form.

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Filter the liquid through a paper towel.

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Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened slightly.

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Peel the beetroot (you should be able to just rub off the skin) and cut into slices. Make a stack of alternating slices of beetroot, foie gras, and roquefort. Sprinkle a slice of foie gras or beetroot that is not topped with roquefort with a tiny bit of salt. Serve with a bit of the sauternes sauce.

Wine pairing

It goes without saying that this is excellent with a sauternes.

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12 thoughts on “Foie Gras Sous-vide with Sauternes, Beetroot and Roquefort

  1. Two things: 1) I know it’s naive, but I visited a goose farm in the south of France where the geese came running over to the farmer to be fed the corn. They didn’t seem to think it was unpleasant at all. That’s my rationale for enjoying foie gras. 2) I’m wondering about the sous vide cooling technique’s requirement for plastic bags. Has anyone done any tests to make sure the plastic doesn’t leach out over the long cooking times, especially with acidic fluids like wines? Okay, here’s 3) So happy to see more beet recipes, a vegetable I’m in love with these days. Great recipe Stefan!

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  2. “The combination of foie gras with the botrytis dessert wine sauternes is famous, and since sauternes is also good with roquefort and roquefort is good with beetroot…” I love your thought process! A beautiful presentation on the plate and flavor combination. Lovely.

    I laughed at your wine pairing (Sauternes, the obvious choice!). 🙂

    I have read a bit about sous-vide methods for preparation of fois gras – apparently it requires a certain touch – and you succeed. I so enjoyed this post – did you end up using the humanly raised poultry for your dish? And did you choose goose or duck?

    Thank you for sharing!

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    • I like goose foie gras better than duck, so that is what I normally use. I think by humanely you mean that the geese have not been force fed? I use “organic” goose foie gras, where the geese are eating more because with artificial lighting they ‘think’ another day has gone by and they need to eat again. It is much better than the non-organic stuff (and nicer for the geese).
      PS It would have been silly to pair this with something else 😉

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      • Humanely – yes, I was referencing what you had mentioned in your post – Humanely is a “buzz word” here. It means not force fed or treated badly in general. In the States, many poultry are treated horribly – it is really appalling. Organic and free-range always taste better here. Why do you like the goose more than the duck? Just curious. We are currently under a foie gras ban, but we do have duck and goose mousse. Thanks, Stefan – I love your comments!

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  3. Pingback: Tuna and Carrots with Cumin | Stefan's Gourmet Blog

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