Cervelles d’Agneau au Beurre Noir

Lamb’s Brains with Black Butter

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves



Appears in

French Country Kitchen

French Country Kitchen

By Geraldene Holt

Published 1987

  • About

Both lamb’s and calf’s brains are delicious cooked in this way. Calf’s brains must be skinned half-way through the soaking in cold water.


  • 2–3 lamb’s brains
  • 1 onion spiked with cloves
  • bouquet garni
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • salt
  • finely chopped parsley
  • 45 g( oz) butter


Some butchers sell brains soaked and ready to cook. But if the brains have not been soaked, put them in cold water for 2 hours, changing the water every half hour or so. Or leave the brains in a bowl in the sink under a trickling tap.

Meanwhile simmer the onion, bouquet garni, 2 tablespoons of the wine vinegar and the salt with 700 ml( pt) water for 20 minutes. Strain and return the stock to the pan. Add the brains and poach very gently for 10–15 minutes until cooked. Use a slotted spoon to lift out on to a cloth, making sure that the brains drain well. Place on a hot serving dish and sprinkle the parsley over them.

Melt the butter in a pan and cook until nut brown. Pour over the brains and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the vinegar to the buttery pan. Swill round over the heat and pour over the brains. Serve straight away.