Aunt Gwen’s Cold Shape (!)

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

How to Cook a Wolf

By MFK Fisher

Published 1944

  • About


  • 1 calf head, quartered
  • salt, pepper, bay, herbs as desired
  • ½ cup lemon juice or
  • 1 cup dry white wine


Remove most of fat, and the brains (save for another dish), ears, eyes, and snout (a kindly butcher will do this for the finicky). Soak for ½ hour in cold water, wash off, cover with cold water, and simmer until the meat starts to fall from the bones. Drain in large colander over another kettle, saving all the cooking liquor. Dice the meat (“in pretty pieces,” Aunt Gwen directed), add the stock amply to cover, and mix gently with seasoning to taste. Simmer for ¾ hour, add the lemon juice or wine, and pour into a mold. Cover with a cloth, weight well, and chill. Serve in slices. (Aunt Gwen used bread-pans for the molds, clean bricks for the weights... and there were always cucumber-chips on the platter.)