Fresh Foie Gras with Roasted Peaches

Foiegras has raised temperatures one way or another since Roman times. Horace's early writings describe a method of preparing geese that have been force-fed on figs. In the eleventh century Sainte Radegonde - one of France's many culinary saints - had a dish of foie gras prepared for the soon-to be-canonized Bishop of Poitiers, who thanked her with poems and odes in her honour. The marquis of Contades received a large fiefdom in Picardy from Louis XV as thanks for a gift of foie gras prepared by his pastry chef. Today it has become at the same time one of the most sought-after and one of the most vilified foodstuffs in the world, appreciated by gourmets for its incomparable texture and taste, and denounced for the method of its production. It is, however, one of the oldest and most fabled ingredients of the French kitchen


serves 6
1 fresh goose foie gras of about 800 g
sea salt .
freshly ground black pepper
50 ml Madeira
50 ml cognac
260 g butter
5 fresh peaches, each destoned and cut into
8 wedges
a grating of nutmeg


1. Clean and trim the foie gras of any fibres or veins using a thin, sharp-bladed knife. Put it in a dish, add seasoning, Madeira and cognac, cover and marinate in the fridge overnight, turning it when you can in the evening before and the morning after.

2. The next day, remove the foie gras from the marinade and dry well with kitchen paper. Keep the marinade. Slice the foie gras into escalopes, each of about 100 g.

3. Heat 100 g of the butter in a large frying pan and, over high heat, sear the foie gras on each side for 45 seconds — or more if you must. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Add more butter if required and cook the peaches for 2 minutes, still over a high heat. Arrange the peaches on warmed plates and set aside.

4. Pour the marinade juices into the frying pan, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and add it to the pan, whisking vigorously with a balloon whisk, until a glossy sauce is made. Add the nutmeg.

5. Arrange the foie gras on top of the peaches, spoon over the sauce and serve at once.

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