Stewed Calf’s Feet

Cheap and Good


  • Calf’s feet (large), 2
  • water, 3 pints
  • salt, ½ to ⅓ teaspoon
  • onions, 1 to 3
  • cloves, 6
  • peppercorns, 20
  • mace, large blade
  • little celery and parsley
  • carrots, 1 or 2:
  • stewed softly, 2½ to 3¼ hours.
  • mushroom catsup, 1 tablespoonful
  • flour, or arrowroot, 1 large teaspoonful
  • butter, 1 to 2 oz. Cayenne, to taste.


This is an excellent family dish, highly nutritious, and often very inexpensive, as the feet during the summer are usually sold at a low rate. Wash them with nicety, divide them at the joint, and split the claws; arrange them closely in a thick stewpan or saucepan, and pour in as much cold water as will cover them about half an inch: three pints will be sufficient for a couple of large feet. When broth or stock is at hand, it is good economy to substitute it for the water, as by this means a portion of strong and well-flavoured jellied gravy will be obtained for general use, the full quantity not being needed as sauce for the feet. The whole preparation will be much improved by laying a thick slice of the lean of an unboiled ham, knuckle of bacon, hung beef, or the end of a dried tongue, at the bottom of the pan, before the other ingredients are added; or, when none of these are at hand, by supplying the deficiency with a few bits of lean beef or veal: the feet being of themselves insipid, will be much more palatable with one or the other of these additions. Throw in from half to three quarters of a teaspoonful of salt when they begin to bod, and after the scum has been all cleared off, add a few branches of parsley, a little celery, one small onion or more, stuck with half a dozen cloves, a carrot or two, a large blade of mace, and twenty corns of whole pepper; stew them softly until the flesh will put entirely from the bones; take it from them, strain part of the gravy, and slum off all the fat, flavour it with catsup or any other store sauce, and thicken it, when it boils, with arrowroot or flour and butter; put in the flesh of the feet, and serve the dish as soon as the whole is very hot. A glass of wine, a little lemon juice, and a few forcemeat balls, will convert this into a very superior stew; a handful of mushroom-buttons also simmered in it for half an hour before it is dished, will vary it agreeably.