For me, the only way to eat foie gras is as simply as possible. I was instructed by Madame Bonomi of Martel, a village to the east of Sarlat, a centre of foie gras production. It took her about four minutes to prepare the liver and push it into its terrine.
Choose a fine, raw, vacuum-packed, fattened duck liver, a pink or yellow shade of beige, weighing
Carefully remove it from its wrapping and let it come to room temperature. In order to remove any inner veins, it must be opened out: to facilitate this it can be soaked in a basin of lukewarm water. Gently prize apart the two lobes, large and small, and with a tiny knife cut out the sinews and veins, handling the liver with great care so as not to crush it.
Open it flat and sprinkle the inside surface lightly with salt and pepper and
Close the lobes together, push the foie gras into a terrine into which it just fits, cover with foil and leave to absorb the flavours for an hour or two.
When you are ready to cook it, pour off any liquid from the terrine, mix about
Heat the oven to 100°C. Place an oval gratin dish of water in the oven to heat up. Put the terrine in the bain marie in the middle of the oven and cook for 60 minutes. Switch off the oven, leave the terrine to cool slowly for an hour and then remove it from the oven.
When it is cold, place it in the fridge to mature for at least 24 hours before eating.
When you want to serve it, you can put it in the freezer for 10–15 minutes to chill, which makes it easier to slice. Serve it in rather thick slices with toasted pain de campagne. Chef Michel Guerard would serve very thin slices of raw apple with it, to add a fresh note.