Pan-Seared Foie Gras With Fig Mostarda and Fresh Figs Recipe

The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

Pan-Seared Foie Gras With Fig Mostarda and Fresh Figs Recipe

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Note: Fresh foie gras can be ordered online. I prefer the grade "A" lobes from Bella Bella Gourmet, who sells foie produced by La Belle Farms, a small-scale poultry farm in Ferndale, New York. You can order the foie gras here. A lobe of foie gras weighs about 1 1/2 pounds and is enough for at least 10 to 12 servings. For a step-by-step slideshow on how to slice whole foie gras, see the post here.

Uneaten foie gras can be stored in a vacuum-sealed bag and frozen for several months. Excess sauce can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Serve extra sauce with charcuterie, cheese, or roast duck or pork.

  • Yield:serves 4
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour

Ingredients

  • For the Fig Mostarda
  • 6 dried figs, split into quarters
  • 1 cup cognac
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot mustard powder
  • pinch salt
  •  
  • For the Foie Gras:
  • 4 slabs fresh grade "A" foie gras, each 1/2-inch thick, lightly scored in a hashmark pattern on one side (6 to 8 ounces total, see note)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced chives
  • Coarse sea salt such as Maldon or fleur de sel
  • 4 fresh figs

Directions

  1. 1.

    Make the Fig Mostarda: Combine dried figs, cognac, sugar, whole grain mustard, and mustard powder in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer and cook until reduced and syrupy, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside until cool. Season with a pinch of salt.

  2. 2.

    For the Foie Gras: Lay a double layer of paper towels on top of a plate or cutting board and set aside. Season foie gras liberally on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a small skillet over high heat for at least 3 minutes. Place foie gras in skillet scored-side-down. It should immediately start smoking, sizzling, and rendering fat. If it doesn't, remove and allow the pan to preheat for another 1 to 2 minutes. Once all four pieces of foie are in skillet, cook, swirling pan gently every few seconds, until deeply browned and crisp on first side, about 30 seconds. Use a thin metal spatula to flip foie gras onto second side and cook for 30 second longer. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and let rest for 1 minute.

  3. 3.

    Use a small spoon to glaze each piece of foie gras with syrup from fig mostarda. Spoon some of the fig mostarda onto four individual serving plates and place 1 slice of foie gras on each. Top with chives, coarse sea salt, and fresh fig slices. Serve immediately with lightly dressed greens.