#106 Prime Cut

FleurBurger Kobe Beef, Foie Gras, Shaved Black Truffles, Madeira Sauce (Yields: 4 servings)

• 2 lbs coarse ground beef
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• 1 cup chicken stock, boiled down to _ cup
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons Madeira or Port wine
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter - room temperature
• 1 oz black Perigord truffle - very thinly sliced (about 5 per person)
• 8-10 oz duck foie gras
• 1 bunch watercress, washed and picked over
• Sea salt + freshly ground pepper
• 4 each bacon, onion & walnut buns (see recipe)

For the burgers, shape the meat into four patties about one-inch thick. Handle lightly to keep the texture light and juicy.

In a small bowl stir together the cornstarch and about two tablespoons of the stock until well blended. Set aside.

Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Generously season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook meat on one side until brown, about one minute. Then turn and brown the second side, about three minutes. With a large spoon, baste the burgers several times with the fat of the pan. Turn again and cook another three minutes, basting the Fleur burger occasionally until it has cooked thoroughly and reached an internal temperature of 160º F. Remove burgers to a warm platter and allow to rest for several minutes before serving.

Working quickly so the burger skillet remains hot, pour out any remaining fat and return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the Madeira or Port and stir and scrape all over the sides and bottom of the pan to dislodge all the browned bites. Cook until the liquid is reduced to one teaspoon. Add the remaining stock and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by two-thirds, about two minutes. Add cornstarch mixture and cook and stir until the sauce has thickened, about one minute.

Split the buns and place them in a toaster oven or under the broiler, cut side up, about 5 inches from the heat, until lightly toasted. Spread two tablespoons of the butter on the cut side of the buns and set aside.

While the burgers are resting, place a dry skillet over medium heat until hot. Remove the foie gras, from the refrigerator and put it directly into the hot pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about two minutes until browned and turn. Brown the second side for another minute and turn again. Lowering the heat, turn again and cook 30 seconds. Continue cooking the foie gras for 30 seconds on each side until it is brown and crusty on both sides. Be careful not to burn the foie gras or the fat remaining in the pan. When done, remove the foie gras to paper towels to drain. Set aside and keep warm. Pour the fat from the pan into the Madeira sauce (optional).

Heat the remaining one tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat until the butter begins to bubble. Add the truffle slices and cook, stirring and tossing, until the truffles are warmed through, about 30 seconds. Set aside and keep warm.

To assemble the burgers, put the bottom half of the bun on four warmed dinner plates. Arrange the burger on the bun and drizzle them with a little of the sauce. Also drizzle a little of the sauce on the plate around the bun. Top each with a slice of foie gras followed by slices of truffle. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Balance the top of each bun against the burgers and place a few sprigs of watercress between the bun and the burger. Serve immediately.

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