Atop a hearty cassoulet, succulent seared foie gras pairs surprisingly well with champagne, port or a red wine.
PALM SPRINGS, CA—This recipe is just one of Chef Chris Bowman’s ways to prepare foie gras, a now verboten product in California. Zin American Bistro in Palm Springs skirts the law by serving it as a complimentary course or amuse bouche to guests of their multiple-coursed wine dinners. Protests and complaints? Zero. Rather, guests appreciate the luxurious liver.
6 cups dried white beans, such as great northern or cannellini. picked over and rinsed
2 sprigs fresh parsley
1 California bay leaf
2 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
5 sprigs fresh thyme
4 smoked ham hocks
4 qt water
2 cups render bacon bits
4 cups onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups carrot, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups celery cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons finely chopped garlic plus 2 cloves, halved
2 Tablespoons grape seed oil
Chicken stock, as needed
Butter, as needed
1 Tablespoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cover beans with cold water by 2 inches in a bowl and soak at room temperature at least 8 and up to 24 hours, or quick-soak. Drain well in a colander.
Make a bouquet garni by wrapping parsley, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, and 2 sprigs thyme in cheesecloth and tying with kitchen string, then put in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot along with ham hocks and water. Simmer, uncovered, skimming froth occasionally, 1 1/4 hours.
Add beans, onions, carrot, and chopped garlic and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans are just tender, about 45 minutes.
Drain bean and ham hock mixture in a colander set over a large bowl (discard bouquet garni). Pull ham hock meat from bone and chop. Add to beans.
Finish cassoulet off with a little chicken stock and butter, salt and pepper so it’s a little creamy.
3 cups raspberries
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
In a 1 1/2-quart saucepan simmer raspberry and sugar in water, uncovered to desired consistency. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Sauce may be made a day ahead and chilled.
1 lobe Hudson Valley foie gras, cut into 6-oz pieces
Sear foie gras in a hot skillet until browned and crisp about 30 seconds, flip and do the same to the other side. Spoon the cassoulet into bowl and top with foie gras. Drizzle with raspberry reduction and garnish with microgreens.
Executive Chef Chris Bowman
Zin American Bistro