Foie Gras with Goat Cheese and Beetroot

After the wonderful dinner my new friends Teun and Auldo cooked for me, it was time to return the favor. I decided to serve to them a collection of my favorite classic Italian recipes and some of my own creations. After an aperitif of a Bernard Pertois champagne, the first appetizer I served was something I’d created a few years ago before I started blogging, inspired by a dish we had at Librije: foie gras with crottin de chavignol and beetroot.

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It sounds like an unlikely flavor combination, but it works really well. When eaten together, it has the great effect that you first taste the beetroot, then the foie gras and finally the goat cheese. The colors of purple, pink, and white look pretty as well. We had one bottle left of the opulent 2003 Pouilly Fumé “Tradition Cullus” from Masson-Blondelet, which still had enough of the typical sauvignon character to go well with the goat cheese, but it is rich enough and had mellowed sufficiently over the years to go well with the creaminess of the foie gras as well. This wine is unlike other pouilly fumé and is vinified and matured in traditional 600 litre oak barrels.

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It was the only dish I served to them that I had not blogged about yet. The menu continued like this:

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On with the recipe. This is not really a recipe, since it is mostly selecting the right ingredients and presenting them in a nice way. The only thing added to them is a bit of salt, and so the success of the dish will depend on the quality of the ingredients. I used raw fresh organic goose foie gras that has a lot of flavor and melts in your mouth. If you don’t like to eat raw foie gras, you could also use paté instead. Crottin de Chavignol is a raw-milk goat cheese. It needs to be ripened sufficiently long to have developed a bit of the typical pungent flavor, but it should still be slightly creamy and not too dry.

Ingredients

For 4 servings as a small appetizer

100 grams (3.5 oz) raw fresh foie gras (I used goose, but duck works as well), or foie gras paté

1 crottin de chavignol, not too dry, or 60 grams of another ripened raw-milk goat cheese

1 large beetroot, big enough to cut 4 slices with a diameter of 6 cm (2 1/3 inch) and a thickness of 6 mm (1/4 inch)

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

salt

Preparation


Wrap the beetroot into aluminum foil and cook for 1 hour in an oven preheated to 200C/400F. Let the beetroot cool in the oven with the door closed for at least 3 hours.

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Cut 4 slices of 6 mm (1/4 inch) out of the center of the beetroot, and then cut perfect rounds using a 6 cm (2 1/3 inch) ring mold. There is no need to peel the beetroot first, as you are discarding the outer layer anyway.

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Cut the crust of the top and bottom of the crottin de chavignol, and cut it into four equal slices.

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Put the slices of goat cheese in between two sheets of plastic wrap, and lightly pound them until they have the diameter of the ring mold you are using.

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Cut the foie gras into 4 slices of equal weight, and put them in between two sheets of plastic wrap. The foie gras should come straight from the refrigerator, otherwise it is difficult to slice.

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Lightly pound the slices of foie gras until they are about the size of the ring mold. It’s not possible nor necessary to make them exactly round, so just use the mold as a rough guideline.

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Start with a slice of beetroot (which I put on a sheet of kitchen paper here to absorb some of the purple juice).

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Fit the ring mold over the beetroot. Arrange a slice of foie gras on top. The warmth of your fingers will make the foie gras very malleable, so you can easily manipulate it in order to get an even layer.

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Repeat this with all 4 slices.

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Put the goat cheese on top.

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Sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Serve right away, or refrigerate and take out of the refrigerator about half an hour before serving.

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25 thoughts on “Foie Gras with Goat Cheese and Beetroot

  1. Now that is impressive. Foie gras is now illegal in California so I’m going to have to cross the border to Nevada to procure some or make Gourmet’s Chicken Faux Gras. It is not the same but at least I’ll be able to enjoy the combination of flavors you’ve just come up with.

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  2. Hi Stefan!
    Thanks for the dinner! Really, really, really great food and wines. Was very impressed and had a wonderful evening. Did feel the bottles of wine at one point 😉 How did you wake up?
    Next dinner at my place!
    Thanks again

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    1. Hi Auldo!

      You are very welcome and thanks for coming over. It was the least I could do after the wonderful evening you both showed me at Teun’s. I had a wonderful evening as well last night. It is great to cook for someone who knows how to appreciate it.

      I definitely had too much wine and waking up was difficult.

      Already looking forward to dinner at your place! Would also love to learn how to work with all those ‘powders’.

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      1. Conor will have to tell you what he did, but I once did some kind of monkfish Wellington as well and it was great! Should do it again actually. I made it to demonstrate that red wine can go well with fish (a light-bodied pinot noir, slightly chilled).
        I rubbed the monkfish with salt, freshly ground black pepper, fresh rosemary, and olive oil and let it marinate like that for an hour or so. Then I wrapped it in good prosciutto, and then in pastry dough. I brushed the pastry dough with a mixture of egg yolk and olive oil on the outside. I baked it at 180C/350F until the digital thermometer in the center reached 48C/118F.

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  3. Hi Stefan! Wow… I can’t believe that it took me so long to find your blog! It’s such a fantastic source of cooking inspiration and technique. I think you missed your calling, being a financier 😉 I’ve never eaten foie gras. I guess I’ve had a problem with it, from an ethical point of view, for a while now… I can’t get past it. What does it taste like? I love the goats cheese and beet combination though. One of my all-time favourites 🙂 Anyway, I can’t wait to read more about sous-vide (I’ve been reading lots of information on the technique and it seems amazing. Is the appliance expensive to buy?).

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    1. Hi Laura, thanks for leaving such a nice comment!

      Foie gras tastes a bit like paté, but nicer, and the best thing is that it melts in your mouth. The foie gras I use is organic, and so the geese are not force fed.

      Great to hear that you are interested in sous-vide cooking. It is a great technique that opens up new possibilities and ease of use. The appliance is pretty expensive, between 500 and 1000 AUD. But definitely worth it!

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  4. That was some meal you prepared for you guests, Stefan, and this dish was a fantastic one to lead the way. It was a beautifully prepared, decadent start to your meal. If you keep writing of these fabulous dinners, you’re going to have people lined up, waiting for a seat at your table. (And I’m going to buy stock in KLM.) 🙂

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  5. Beautiful presentation, Stefan. Although I am not a big fan of red beets, I do like the golden beets, especially roasted with camembert cheese. I would imagine they would pair nicely with the goat cheese as well although not quite as colorful as the red beets. Nicely done and the meal sounded spectacular. I must admit I chuckled at your delicate kitchen tool, i.e. carpenter’s mallet, with the instruction to “gently” pound. 😀

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