Escalopes of Calf’s Head in Matelote

Escalopes de Tête de Veau en Matelote


Soak a small half fresh calf’s head in cold salted water for two days, changing the water constantly, then bone it and remove the brains (these can be used for an entrée; see ‘Little Cases à la Toulouse’), and tie it up in a cloth; put it into a pan with enough cold water to cover it, and when it comes to the boil, take it out, wash it in cold water, and replace it in the stewpan with enough light stock or water to cover it, and a good plateful of vegetables, such as carrot, onion, celery, and herbs (parsley, thyme, bayleaf, basil, and marjoram). When it boils skim it, and let it simmer gently for three or four hours; then take it up, remove the cloth, cut it out in good round pieces, about two and a half inches diameter, and lay the pieces in a sauté pan with a good wineglass of sherry; cover the pan and let it just boil up, then add half a pint of really good clear stock, let it boil till the liquor is as thick as cream, then lightly glaze the pieces on the top sides, dish them on a potato or farce border, with little round fried croûtons, the same size as the pieces of head, between each piece; these croûtons must be lightly brushed over with raw white of egg and sprinkled with coral and chopped parsley. Garnish the centre with button mushrooms, braised olives, blanched and bearded oysters, and truffles, and serve with Espagnol sauce round the base. Crayfish may also be added to the garnish, if in season. Remains from this dish may be used up as in the recipe for hashed calf’s head. The liquor in which the head was boiled can be used for clear or thick mock turtle or other soup.