Want to impress your guests on Christmas Eve? Jean-Georges Klein and Paul Stradner, the duo of chefs at the head of the kitchens of Villa René Lalique, in the Vosges Massif, reveal to us their recipe for grilled duck foie gras with berawecka and a broth infused with Tahitian vanilla. Let's cook!
Did you know that foie gras was invented in Strasbourg? It is said that in 1780, the chef of the Governor of Alsace delighted his master's guests with a "pâté de foie gras" that remained in the annals.
An Alsatian specialty that enhances another in the kitchens of Villa René Lalique is berawecka, bread with dried fruits and spices that Chefs Jean-Georges Klein and Paul Stradner spotlight during the holiday season.
Located in Winden-sur-Moder, the site of Lalique production, Villa René Lalique is home to a 5-star hotel with six Relais & Châteaux suites and a two-star Michelin restaurant where crystal is king. From the chandeliers in the bar to the salt and pepper shakers, redesigns of those created by René Lalique in 1924, the place is a tribute to the legacy of its founder.
On the plate, Alsatian local produce is transformed into original creations by Chefs Jean-Georges Klein and Paul Stradner, like their recipe for grilled duck foie gras with berawecka and a broth infused with Tahitian vanilla, perfect for the holiday season.
• 1 berawecka or 200 g (7 oz) of gingerbread
• 1 apple (Granny Smith or similar)
• Confectioner's sugar
• 20 cl (6.7 oz) of Banyuls wine
• 1 yellow lemon
• 50 g (1.8 oz) of superfine sugar
• 25 cl (8.4 oz) of water
• 200 g (7 oz) of spinach
• 15 g (0.5 oz) of fresh butter
• 500 g (17.6 oz) of duck foie gras
• A tablespoon of flour
• Lime zest
• Gingerbread powder
- The night before, hollow out the apple and cut into thin slices of 1-2 mm (0.04-0.08 in) thick. Arrange on parchment paper. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and put in the oven at 70 °C (158 ºF); let dry for 24 hours.
- On D-day, reduce the wine to a syrupy consistency and keep at room temperature.
- Peel the lemons, saving the zest (white peel) for later. Cut into 5-mm (0.2-in) thick slices; blanch twice (starting with cold water). Confit with water and sugar only for a few minutes. Cool in their juice.
- Pick, wash and spin the spinach leaves. Keep in the fridge and cook to order.
- Dress and scallop the block of foie gras (quite thick—about 3 cm [2.36 in]) and keep cool.
- Infuse the consommé with the vanilla beans, adjust the seasoning and keep warm.
- Cut 4 thin slices of berawecka, and sprinkle with gingerbread powder.
- Season and lightly sprinkle the cold duck foie gras scallops with flour. Mark them on both sides in a very hot, non-greased non-stick pan. Let rest for 15-20 min at 40 °C (104 ºF).
- Dry and warm the slices of candied lemons.
- Cook the spinach in a pan with a small piece of fresh butter (2-3 min), and season.
- Cook the foie gras again for 4-5 minutes in a hot oven (190 °C [374 ºF]). Take out of the oven and dry well with a paper towel.
Pour a line of wine reduction on the plate, place a slice of berawecka, top with spinach and a candied lemon slice, and finish with the hot grilled duck foie gras. Place a slice of dried apple on the foie gras. On the right side of the plate, complete with a small bowl of vanilla consommé. Finish with grated lime zest.