This foie gras recipe was inspired by Christian Delouvrier’s signature foie gras “hamburger”, a recipe that appears in Michael Ginor’s cook book “Foie Gras, A Passion”. The “hamburger” consists of a thick slice of seared foie gras, served between a “bun” made of white peaches, first poached in a Sauternes syrup, then caramelized before serving. The blueberries were also poached in the Sauternes syrup. The fennel slaw, made of shaved fennel, shaved red onion, julienne dates, lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of cayenne, seemed like a natural addition to the “hamburger”.
About 4 ounces of foie gras was the right amount to pair with the sweet white peaches, blueberries and the caramel sauce. Use a whole lobe and cut into large, thick slices, or use two 2-oz portions of flash frozen foie gras.
Foie Gras Hamburger with Fennel Slaw
Foie gras Hamburger
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups Sauternes
4 ripe white peaches small to medium sized, cut in half, pit removed
2/3 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 lb foie gras, cut into four large pieces or eight 2-oz slices of flash frozen foie gras
sea salt to taste
2 bulbs fennel, shaved thin
1/3 cup red onion, shaved thin
10 medjool dates
juice from one lemon
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil infused with lemon or orange
2 pinches cayenne
fleur de sel to taste
In a non-reactive saucepan, combine water and sugar and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes to produce a simple syrup. Add the wine and Sauternes and cook for about 30 minutes over medium-low heat. When the mixture is syrupy with large bubbles rising to the surface, place the peaches cut side down in the syrup. Poach the peaches in the syrup for about 2 – 3 minutes, or until the skin starts to shrink or starts to fall off the peaches. Remove the peaches from the syrup and set aside. Add the blueberries to the syrup and poach for about one minute. Remove the blueberries and set aside. Return the peach skins t the syrup. Continue simmering the syrup until it is thick. To test if the syrup is done, place a few drops on a cold plate. If the syrup does not run, it is done. Remove the peach skins and set the syrup aside, keeping it warm.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In an skillet, heat the butter and sugar and add the peaches, cut side down. Saute until the peaches have caramelized, about 5 – 7 minutes. While the peaches are cooking, place the thick slices of foie gras in a heavy oven-proof skillet set on medium heat. Season the foie gras slices with salt. Sear each side of the foie gras for about 30 seconds, or until golden, and finish cooking in the oven, for about 2 minutes. If using frozen slices of foie gras, start with a cold pan and cook over medium heat until the frozen pieces have thawed, the outside is golden and the inside is just set.
Mix all the fennel slaw ingredients and serve a portion on each plate. When the foie gras is cooked, place half a peach on each plate, put a few blueberries in the center of the peach, and place the foie gras over the peach half. Put the second half of the peach on top of the foie gras. Spoon the Sauternes syrup over the “hamburgers”.