Spiced foie gras with pickled mushrooms and Sauternes jelly

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This foie gras recipe uses a lobe of fresh foie gras as its centrepiece, which needs to be well-seasoned, treated carefully, and cooked in a water bath. Tom Aikens' dish is an elegant starter offset by the Sauternes jelly and the pickled mushrooms.

First published in 2015




Foie gras

Pickled Thai shallots

Pickled mushrooms

Sauternes jelly dice

  • 350ml of Sauternes wine
  • water, 100-250ml
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 6 gelatine leaves

Sauternes jelly sheets

  • 500ml of Sauternes wine
  • 25g of Vege-Gel

Foie gras mousse

Lemon and cep emulsion

To serve


  • Fine sieve
  • Muslin cloth
  • Blender
  • Sous vide equipment
  • 5mm deep tray


To prepare the pickled Thai shallots, add the water, Sauternes, vinegar and olive oil to a pan
  • 300ml of water
  • 150ml of Sauternes wine
  • 100ml of champagne vinegar
  • 100ml of olive oil
Add the sugar, salt, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, then add the shallots and bring back to a simmer. Cook for a further 5 minutes, cooking through but leaving them crispy
Remove the shallots from the heat and add more sugar, salt or vinegar if desired. Leave to infuse in the liquor for a day
For the pickled mushrooms, add the water, Sauternes, olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and caster sugar to a large pan
  • 700ml of water
  • 300ml of Sauternes wine
  • 300ml of olive oil
  • 300ml of white wine vinegar
  • 30g of salt
  • 100g of caster sugar
Add the thyme, bay leaves and black peppercorns, bring to a simmer and continue to simmer for 10 minutes
Add the thinly sliced king oyster mushrooms, the clumps of nameko and shimeji mushrooms, one after the other. They may take from 30 seconds to a minute or 2 to cook, depending on size
Once the mushrooms are cooked, place the different mushrooms on separate trays to drain. You will need to reseason the mushroom stock after they are all cooked as some of the flavour will have gone
Chill the mushroom stock and the mushrooms. Leave the mushrooms in the stock so they take on more flavour
For the Sauternes jelly, place the Sauternes into a bowl and add about 100-250ml water to dilute slightly, then add approximately 1 tsp of sugar to taste
  • 350ml of Sauternes wine
  • water, 100-250ml
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Warm the Sauternes, sugar and water mixture, then add the soaked gelatine, pass through a fine sieve and place in a shallow 5mm deep square tray so it can be cut into very neat cubes
  • 6 gelatine leaves
Season the inside of the deveined foie gras and add a pinch of spice. Close up the lobe and remould into its natural shape
Shape the foie gras into a log, season and wrap in a single sheet of muslin cloth. Roll the cloth round the foie gras 4 times, then tie each end tightly with string. Place the sausage into a vac pac bag with the Sauternes and vac pac on full until the bag is tight around the foie gras. The fat will come out as it cooks
  • 500ml of Sauternes wine
Place the foie gras lobe in the fridge for 6 hours to marinate. Remove and bring up to room temperature for 30 minutes, then place into a water bath at 43°C for 17 minutes
After this time, place the vac pac bag into iced water to chill and set. This is then cut along the whole length of the foie gras when you are ready to serve
To make the Sauternes jelly sheets, dissolve 25g vege-gel in 100ml water. Reduce the Sauternes to 250ml in a separate pan and leave to cool
  • 500ml of Sauternes wine
  • 25g of Vege-Gel
Whisk the vege-gel into the cold Sauternes until smooth, then bring up to a slow simmer and whisk until completely smooth
Pour the vege-gel and Sauternes mixture into a tray that is covered with oiled cling film, pouring it down the tray at an acute angle so that the jelly distributes evenly
Once the vege-gel and Sauternes mixture has set, which will take a couple of hours or quicker in a fridge, cut into 3cm x 4cm rectangles
For the foie gras mousse, reduce the Sauternes by half, then add the consommé and bring to a simmer
Add the consommé and Sauternes mixture to a blender and drop in the foie gras and whipping cream. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Add the soaked gelatine and season to taste
Pass the blended foie gras, consommé and Sauternes mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl set over ice. Stir until it almost sets and thickens, then transfer the mousse to a piping bag
Once thickened, pipe the foie gras mousse onto the Sauternes jelly sheets and roll into cylinders. Roll in the cling film and place in the fridge to keep the neat shape
For the lemon and cep emulsion, separate the egg and add the yolk to a blender along with the lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper
Blitz until the mixture thickens, then add the oils in a slow stream along with the cep powder
  • 50ml of olive oil
  • 100ml of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp cep powder
Add a little water if the mixture is too think and recheck the seasoning. If too sweet, add a little more lemon juice before adding the cream
  • 50ml of double cream
Before serving, slice the raw mushrooms and brush with olive oil, salt, black pepper and lemon juice
To plate, streak the cep emulsion onto plates in 3-5 streaks, then place a slice of foie gras onto each plate
Place the pickled mushrooms, Thai shallots and diced Sauternes jelly around the foie gras
Add the salad leaves and the foie gras mousse wrapped in the Sauternes jelly sheet on top, then finish with the sliced raw mushrooms, salad leaves and a sprinkling of the olive oil and cep powder. Serve immediately
  • 15 baby salad leaves
Then add the sliced raw mushrooms brushed with olive oil, salt, black pepper and lemon juice, followed by the rest of the salad leaves and then a little sprinkling of olive oil and cep powder
First published in 2015

Tom Aikens is one of the most creative and talented chefs Britain has ever seen, with a restaurant empire to match.

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