Calf's Head Recipes

Country Housewife and Lady's Director

To dress a Calf's-Head in a grand Dish. From Mrs. E. Sympson.

Take a large Calf's-Head, and divide it, cut off the Muzzle, and wash it well; then take the Brains, and wash them, and dry them, and flour them, and put them in a Cloth, and tye them up. Boil these till they are half done; then take them from the Kettle, and cut the Flesh off one side of the Head, in slices, like harsh'd Meat, and the other side of the Head must remain whole, and mark'd only with a sharp Knife, cross-ways. The Brains must lie till the rest are prepared.

Take then the harsh'd part, and with some of the Liquor it was boil'd in, put a Glass of White Wine, a little Mushroom Ketchup, a little Nutmeg grated, and a little Mace beat fine, some Pepper and Salt, some grated Lemon-Peel, and stew them together with a bunch of sweet Herbs, and some Butter. When it is enough, put in a little Juice of Lemon, and thicken it with Cream and Butter, in some of the same Liquor, with the Liquor of Oysters parboil'd, a Pint of Oysters, and as many pickled Mushrooms, which must be toss'd up with your Sauce, when you thicken it, remembring to cut the Eye in pieces, amongst the Harsh.

Then for the other side of the Head, when you have cut the Flesh cross ways, in Diamonds, about an Inch over, beat the Yolks of two or three Eggs, and with a Feather past over it, cover it with the Yolks of Eggs, and then drudge upon it the following Mixture.

Take some Raspings of Bread sifted, put to them some Flour, a little Pepper and Salt, with some Mace and Nutmeg, in powder, and a little sweet Marjoram powder'd, or shred small. Mix these well together; then set it in an Oven, with some bits of Butter upon it, till it is enough, or before a brisk Fire, till the drudging is brown: this must be laid in the middle of the Dish, and the Harsh round it. The Brains must be cut in pieces, and strew'd with a little red Sage cut very small, and a little Spice and Salt; and then every piece, dip'd in a thick Batter, made of Eggs, Flour, and Milk. Fry these well in hot Hog's-Lard, or for want of that, in hot melted Beef-Suet; then take Oysters, a little stew'd in their own Liquor, with Mace, and a little whole Pepper; take off their Fins, and dip them in the same Batter, and fry them as directed above for the Brains. There must be likewise some Pieces of Bread cut the length of one's Finger, and fry'd crisp; all these are by way of Garnish. One may likewise boil some Skirret-Roots, and peel them, and then dip them in the Batter, and fry them crisp. As for the other part of the Garnish, it must be red Beets pickled and sliced, and Lemon sliced.

Calf's-Head-Pye. From the same.

Take a large Calf's-Head, divide it, and when it is well cleaned, boil it half enough; then cut it in large slices, and slit the Eyes, season it with Nutmeg, Pepper, Salt, and some powder of dry'd sweet Herbs; then lay it in your Paste, with some Pepper and Salt, at the Bottom, with some bits of Butter; then put in the Yolks of twelve hard Eggs, and a farced Meat made in the following manner. Take some Lean of Veal, shred it very small, then take some Eggs butter'd, and a little Pepper and Salt, with other Spice beaten, and some sweet Herbs in powder. Mix this with the Yolk or two of raw Eggs beaten, and make it into a Paste. Then roll it into Balls, and lay a good number of them into the Pye, amongst the Meat; and, if you will, put in half a Pound of Currans well pick'd, and only rubb'd in a Cloth, without washing. Then close your Pye, and just before it goes to the Oven, pour in a Gill of White Wine, and half a Pint of Water; bake it and serve it hot, and you may add, if you will, the following Liquor, viz.

Take half a Pint of White Wine, and as much Water, with the Juice of a Lemon. Boil these together a Minute or two, then take the Yolks of four Eggs, and beat them well, a quarter of a Pound of Butter, and as much Sugar as you like to make it palatable. Then mix them well together, taking care that it does not curdle, and pour it into your Pye just before you serve it.

Note, One may put into this Pye, Cock's-Combs blanched, and some Citron or Lemon-Peel candy'd, if you design it for a sweet Pye; but it is very good, whether we make it a sweet Pye or not.

To bake a Calf's-Head. From the same.

Take a Calfs-Head, wash it clean, and divide it; then beat the Yolks of four or five Eggs, and beat them well, and with a Feather, trace that Liquor over the out-side of the Head, and strew over it some raspings of Bread sifted, some Flour, some Pepper and Salt, some Mace and Nutmeg powder'd, with some sweet Herbs powder'd, with a little Sage shred small, and the Brains cut in pieces, and dip'd in thick Batter; then cover the Head with some bits of Butter, and pour in the Pan some White-Wine and Water, with as much Gravey, and cover it close. Then bake it in a quick Oven, and when you serve it, pour on some strong Gravey, and garnish with Lemon sliced, red Beet-Root pickled and sliced, and some fry'd Oysters, and fry'd Bread.