Tuna capped with seared foie gras on charred onions and a burgundy butter sauce

Impress your guests with Patrick O'Connell's seared tuna and foie gras combo, served with a rich red wine sauce
Tuna capped with seared foie gras on charred onions and a burgundy butter sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 10 mins soaking
  • Effort: hard



  • 115 g foie gras
  • salt, and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter, for the brown butter
  • 1 large white onion, cut into 1cm-thick slices
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely sliced lengthways into ribbons
  • 2 medium courgettes, finely sliced lengthways into ribbons
  • 4 centre-cut tuna steaks, about 175g each, trimmed into the shape of fillet mignon

For the Burgundy butter sauce:

  • 250 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 280 ml red wine
  • 1 shallot, cut in half
  • 60 g chilled unsalted butter
  • 115 g cold lightly salted butter


1. First prepare the foie gras. Soak the foie gras in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes to draw out the blood and firm up the flesh.

2. Separate the two lobes of liver, removing any fat or sinew. Using a very sharp knife dipped in warm water cut the foie gras into 1cm-thick slices.

3. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper and keep chilled until searing.

4. To make the brown butter, heat the butter in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Increase the heat and continue stirring as the butter foams and begins to turn golden brown. Immediately remove the butter from the heat and carefully pour it into a heat-proof container.

5. To make the Burgundy butter sauce, place the balsamic vinegar, red wine and shallot in a medium-size, heavy-based saucepan. Cook over a medium heat until reduced to a syrupy consistency.

6. Using a wooden spoon, add the cold unsalted and salted butter to the pan one piece at a time, mixing in well. Once all the butter has been mixed in, remove the shallot halves. Keep warm until serving.

7. Heat a 23cm cast-iron frying pan over high heat until very hot.

8. Moisten the onion slices with olive oil and lay them in the hot pan one layer deep. Cook until lightly charred, turn over with tongs, and char the other side.

9. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a rapid boil and drop in the carrot ribbons. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the carrots are tender but still al dente. Lift the carrots out of the water with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.

10. Using the same pan of boiling water, repeat this process with the courgette ribbons, bearing in mind that the courgette will only need 1-2 minutes cooking.

11. Toss the carrot and courgette ribbons with the brown butter and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

12. Brush the tuna steaks with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Place the tuna into the same hot pan used to char the onions. Sear for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm.

13. Heat an 18cm thick-based frying pan until smoking hot. Add in the foie gras and sear on both sides for about 30 seconds or just until a crisp outer crust forms. Remove and keep warm.

14. Quickly lay 3 or 4 charred onion rings in the centre of each of four serving plates. Arrange 2 carrot ribbons and two courgette ribbons over the onions in a nest-like pattern.

15. Top with a tuna steak, then a slice of seared foie gras and a few more charred onion rings.

16. Spoon over the Burgundy butter sauce, adding three 'pools' of sauce to each portion. Serve at once.

Rate This Recipe