Aset of uncooked calf’s brains does not look mouth-watering; in fact, it’s a sight more reminiscent of Burke and Hare than anything gastronomic. Overcome this challenge, for the taste is delicate and savoury, and the texture pleasantly creamy.
Calf’s brains used to be a staple brasserie dish, often served as part of a head meat collage — tête de veau vinaigrette - with herb and shallot dressing. Along with similar dishes, ox tongue, pigs’ trotters, and tripe, they are very much part of another generation’s eating habits, and now, like flowered shirts, it is their turn to come back into fashion.
You may have to wait for a while for well prepared tête de veau to be readily available (unless you have an exceptional butcher), but calf’s brains are not too tricky, and they are inexpensive. Brains are the most delicately flavoured offal, and rich sauces are not appropriate.
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