Filet Mignon of Rare Tuna with Foie Gras

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

America's Best Chefs Cook with Jeremiah Tower

America's Best Chefs Cook with Jeremiah Tower

By Jeremiah Tower

Published 2003

  • About

Here a center-cut portion of tuna is trimmed to resemble a filet mignon of beef grilled rare, topped with a slab of seared, fattened duck liver (foie gras) and sauced with an explosively full-flavored red wine sauce. It’s served resting on charred onions and ribbons of zucchini and carrot. Naturally, the same concept works beautifully with a filet of beef. Make tuna cakes or tartare from any tuna trimmings.


  • 1 very large white onion, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, sliced lengthwise into paper-thin, wide ribbons
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into paper-thin, wide ribbons
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons hot Brown Butter
  • 4 center-cut tuna steaks, 6 ounces each, trimmed to the shape of a filet mignon
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces raw fattened duck liver (foie gras), cut in 4 slices
  • ½ inch thick, chilled
  • 1 recipe Burgundy Butter Sauce


Heat a cast-iron ridged grill pan over high heat until very hot. Moisten the onion slices with the olive oil and place them in a single layer on the hot pan. Cook until lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn over with tongs and char the other side. Repeat until all the slices are cooked. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts of lightly salted water to a rapid boil and drop in the carrot ribbons. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until the carrots are tender but still al dente. Lift the ribbons out with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Repeat the same cooking process with the zucchini ribbons, remembering that they will cook much faster than the carrots. Add the drained zucchini to the carrots, season them with salt and pepper, and mix gently with the hot brown butter. Keep warm.

Moisten the tuna steaks with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put them on a hot charcoal grill or onto the same grill pan used to char the onions. Sear the tuna 2 minutes on each side and keep hot.

Season the slices of foie gras with salt and pepper and season on both sides in a smoking-hot medium saute pan for 30 seconds on each side, or until a crisp outer crust just forms on the liver. Remove and keep warm.

Lay 3 or 4 charred onion rings in the center of each of 4 hot serving plates. Arrange 2 ribbons of carrots and 2 of zucchini over the onions in a circular nestlike pattern. Place the hot tuna steaks on top and arrange the foie gras on top of the tuna steaks, followed by more onions. Sauce the plate with 3 pools of the Burgundy Butter Sauce and serve at once.