In Aaron Patterson's stunning starter recipe a water bath is used to delicately cook foie gras before shaping it into luxurious truffle covered balls and dipping them in a rich truffle jelly to create a shiny glaze. Add a slice of toasted sourdough bread on the side for added crunch, or serve simply with an elegant salad of artichokes, green beans and shallots.
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Preheat a water bath to 65°C
Begin by preparing the foie gras. Remove any the veins using the end of a spoon. Sprinkle over the mixed spice and season with salt and pepper
3 tbsp of mixed spice
180g of foie gras, room temperature
Place the foie gras in a vacuum bag and pour in the Armagnac. Seal in a chamber sealer and cook in the water bath for 2 minutes, then chill in iced water for 10 minutes
4 tbsp of Armagnac
Cut the foie gras into 6 even pieces. Roll out a layer of cling film, place a piece of foie gras in the middle and mould it into a smooth ball using the cling film. Repeat this process until you have 6 foie gras balls and remove each from the cling film
Arrange slices of truffle across another layer of clingfilm, creating circles of slices large enough to cover the foie gras balls. Place a foie gras ball in the centre of the truffle slices and use the cling film to wrap the truffle slices around the ball until completely covered. Repeat with the remaining truffle and foie gras balls and refrigerate until required
1 black truffle, thinly sliced and trimmings reserved
To make the truffle jelly, pour the port and Madeira into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for 2 minutes then add the chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat
200ml of Madeira
200ml of port
250ml of chicken stock
Add the gelatine to the hot stock and stir until dissolved, then pour the mixture into a large bowl and chill over iced water. Add the leftover truffle trimmings to the bowl to infuse
4 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water
Stir the stock until thickens and begins to set. Dip the foie gras balls into the jelly until evenly covered, glazed and shiny. Arrange the coated truffle balls on a wire rack over a tray and transfer to the fridge to set
To make the salad, cook the green beans in boiling salted water for 3–4 minutes until tender, then finely chop into small pieces. Chop the cooked artichokes into small pieces and place in a bowl with the green beans and shallots
200g of green beans
4 baby artichokes, cooked
2 shallots, finely chopped
For the salad dressing, mix together olive oil and sherry vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Stir the dressing until fully incorporated and pour evenly over the salad
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp of sherry vinegar
Spoon a portion of the dressed salad into the centre of each plate and top with a few leaves of lamb's lettuce. Place a foie gras ball in the centre of the salad and serve immediately
100g of lamb's lettuce
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