Boiled Calf’s Head

With the skin on, from 2¼ to 2¾ hours; without the skin, from 1¼ to 1 ¾ hour.


When the head is dressed with the skin on, which many persons prefer, the ear must be cut off quite close to it; it will require three quarters of an hour or upwards of additional boiling, and should be served covered with fried crumbs: the more usual mode, however, is to boil it without the skin. In either case first remove the brain, wash the head delicately clean, and soak it for a quarter of an hour; cover it plentifully with cold water, remove the scum as it rises with great care, throw in a little salt, and boil the head gently until it is perfectly tender. In the mean time, wash and soak the brains first in cold and then in warm water, remove the skin or film, boil them in a small saucepan from fourteen to sixteen minutes, according to their sage, and when they are done, chop and mix them with eight or ten size leaves boiled tender and finely minced; or, if preferred, with boiled parsley instead; warm them in a spoonful or two of melted butter, or white sauce; skin the tongue, trim off the root, and serve it in a small dish with the brains round it. Send the head to table very hot with parsley and butter poured over it, and some more in a tureen. A cheek of bacon, or very delicate pickled pork, is the usual accompaniment to boiled calf’s head.

We have given here the common English mode of serving this dish, by some persons considered the best, and by others, as exceedingly insipid. On the continent, tomata sauce takes place of the parsley and butter; and rich oyster or Dutch sauce, are varieties often substituted for it in this country.