This unusual combination of foie gras and strawberries makes for a truly indulgent starter. Russell Bateman makes brioche from scratch for the crispy breadcrumbs and serves the pan-roasted foie gras with a sharp strawberry relish and pickled green strawberries.
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Begin by making the brioche. Place the flour, salt and sugar into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook/blade, and mix together the yeast with the milk in a jug. Add the milk and yeast to the flour, before adding the eggs and mixing everything together to form a dough
500g of T45 flour
10g of salt
37g of sugar
27g of yeast
15ml of milk
7 eggs, beaten
Gradually add the butter piece by piece, and continue to mix until the dough looks smooth and shiny. Transfer to a clean bowl and cover with cling film and place the dough in the fridge to prove overnight
300g of butter, diced
The next day, knock back the dough to remove excess air. Stretch the dough out slightly and fold into three or four to create a loaf shape with a few layers
Place the folded dough into a large loaf tin, cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove again in a warm place for about an hour
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5
Cake for 30 minutes, then carefully remove from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack
Once cool, cut a few slices and remove the crusts, then blitz the bread to form fine breadcrumbs
Heat a little duck fat in a small sauté pan and fry the brioche crumbs until crisp and golden. Season with maldon salt and drain off any excess oil on kitchen oil
duck fat, for frying
1 pinch of maldon salt
To make the jam, place all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pan and bring to the boil (making sure not to let the sugar catch). Keep on a moderate heat and skim continuously to remove residue and impurities from the top
100g of Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
100g of caster sugar
750g of strawberries, washed and quartered
6g of maldon salt
1 sprig of thyme
Meanwhile, place a small saucer in the fridge. When the jam has thickened, place a spoonful of jam on the chilled plate to test if it is ready - it should set but still be soft. If not ready, continue to heat and check again
Once happy with the consistency, remove from the heat and allow to cool. If you wish to keep the jam for more than five days, remove the thyme sprig and store in a sterilised jar (it will need to be at room temperature to serve)
For the pickled strawberries, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and thyme to the boil. Wash and hull the strawberries and place in a sterilised jar. Once the liquid reaches the boil, quickly cool over ice and strain on to the strawberries in the jar. Seal and store until needed, or for up to a week
300ml of water
125ml of Chardonnay vinegar
100g of caster sugar
1 sprig of thyme
5g of maldon salt
green strawberries, 1 punnet
When ready to serve, place a non-stick pan on a moderate heat. Place a large sharp knife in a jug of boiling water to warm the blade (this will make slicing the foie gras easier)
Divide the foie gras into its two natural pieces. Cut five even portions from the large half and four from the smaller piece, dipping the knife in the hot water to reheat and clean between portions
1 lobe of foie gras, Grade A
Season the portions generously with salt and freshly ground pepper, then place in the hot pan (presentation-side down). Once golden, turn to colour the other sides, removing any excess fat from the pan as this can easily burn (when cooked, the foie gras should be at 50°C in the centre if measured with a thermometer probe)
Serve the foie gras immediately. Place a spoonful of the strawberry jam (at room temperature) on a warm plate. Add a portion of the cooked foie gras, a generous scattering of brioche breadcrumbs and a few thin slices of the pickled green strawberries. Garnish with a few slices of fresh strawberries and baby watercress leaves
1 handful of strawberries
1 handful of watercress
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