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At a time when sweetness, favouring Sauternes wines, was not yet considered the ideal accompaniment for foie gras, foie gras was prepared to emphasize the future qualities of great young red wines. At the outset, in the 19th century, with foie gras prepared in the Médoc style, buyers and brokers were welcomed to châteaux to taste wines before enjoying a traditional meal. Once the wines had aged for at least two years and were ready for bottling and shipment, undertaken exclusively by Bordeaux merchants at the time, foie gras was served with wine taken directly from the barrel and decanted by the cellar master. Hence the reference to the cellar-master in the name of the recipe.


Take a whole duck foie gras, of Landes, Gers, or Périgord origin. Roll the foie gras in Médullis salt (salt flavoured with herbs), pepper abundantly and wrap in a cloth or plastic film. Refrigerate for 48 hours, then denerve. Thinly slice a cep or any other gourmet mushroom - truffle, chanterelle, or morel. Roll the foie gras covered in cep slices into thin slices of Bayonne ham. Place the foie gras in a terrine dish, or in jars, and surround it with red grape berries. To replace grapes, you can also use fresh figs, mulberries, raspberries, blueberries or wild berries such as sloe or sorb. Cook in the oven for at least three quarters of an hour at low heat, or in a bain-marie, if you like fully-cooked foie gras (half-an-hour for semi-cooked foie gras). Serve warm, or leave to cool long enough for the fat to harden. For cold foie gras, you can separate the berries, ham and ceps from the whole foie gras and set aside to serve later. Chop everything finely, with little pieces of foie gras plus a little fat and make tapas, or a salad with flavoured olive oil, a touch of balsamic vinegar and pine kernels. Slice your very cool foie gras with a slightly heated slim-blade knife, and serve with toasted farmhouse bread or any other good unsweetened bread, other than white bread.