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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tete de Veau / Calf's Head


I prayed the good Lord that he transfer SO's ailment to me if he could. I would take it all, if he spared my daughter and He answered my prayers. SO woke up this morning, free of all. She had a slight fever last night, which we stayed up to monitor. But this morning, she was free like a bird and it showed in her face and movements. I, on the other hand, could barely go out of my bed. But like they say in show business, the show must go on. So it is with great reluctance that I cleaned the house today, took care of the chores, and even went out for grocery shopping. I could give up, but I tell myself I have 3 persons counting on me. Especially 2 who are entirely dependent on me - SO and Dad.


So at the grocery store, I picked up a few things to last us all week starting with a Tete de Veau / Veal's Head. They were freshly prepared and on display to grab. Since they were already trimmed and prepared, all that was left to do was to cook them in a Pot-au-Feu style. Trust me, I would never venture myself in preparing a Tete de Veau! This is best bought from professional butchers.



Vegetables used - 1 whole white onion poked with 2 clou de girofle/cloves, 2 sliced carrots, 1 sliced leek, and 1 bouquet garni.



What is a Tete de Veau? Literally, it translates to Head of Calf, which is exactly what it is with sometimes the tongue wedged in between the rolled layers. The butcher removes all bones, skin, hair, and fat from the veal's head, flattens it, then rolls it before it is held tight with a net. The tongue is most often rolled in the center.



I tried to take a photo from another angle. I know, I'm sorry that it doesn't look quite appetizing but I wanted to show you the rolled layers.



Then it is cooked Pot-au-Feu style (click here, here, and here), poached on low heat in a well-seasoned broth with vegetables. Everything goes in for at least 2.5-3 hours. A Tete de Veau that is not properly cooked through is horrible! Make sure to also season well with salt and black pepper.



When cooked, remove from the broth and transfer to a serving plate. Let it cool before slicing it. I like to pour myself a mug of broth to sip on during the meal too. What was left of the broth, I kept for dinner tonight and added short pasta and the vegetables leftover. 1 dish, 2 great meals.

The Tete de Veau is gelatinous and fatty to taste. It has absolutely nothing to do with the regular meat we eat (i.e. beef, pork, and chicken). Its texture is something we don't often have and I find that eating this alone is not enough. IMO, the secret to a perfect Tete de Veau is when it is accompanied with a good sauce (the best ones are Sauce Ravigote and Sauce Gribiche).



Lunch is served: Tete de Veau, Poached Vegetables, and Steamed Potatoes with a Sauce Gribiche 

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