Calves’ Feet Salad

  • Serves

    serves 4-6

(Saladier de Pieds de Veau)
This salad is Gerard Chave's improvisation on a dish he learned from Alain Chapel; it was originally made with sheep's feet. Try not to refrigerate the salad; doing so toughens the calves' skin and meat.


For the Feet

  • 4 carrots, peeled, trimmed, and thickly sliced
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled, trimmed, and thickly sliced
  • 14 bunch parsley
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  • 14 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 (2 1/2–3-lb.) calves' feet, halved lengthwise and crosswise
  • 3-4 Tbsp. red wine
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Dressing

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 34 cup peanut oil
  • 2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup thick crème fraîche
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, peeled, white and yolk minced separately


Step 1

For the feet: Put carrots, onions, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, 1 tbsp. salt, peppercorns, white wine vinegar, and 5 quarts cold water into a large pot, cover, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; gently simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes. Strain liquid into a large wide pot and return to a simmer over medium heat.

Step 2

Add calves' feet to pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer, partially covered, until skin and meat are tender (the skin, though tender, should still be chewy) and easily pull away from the bones, about 2 1⁄2 hours. Transfer feet to a wide dish, discarding cooking liquid, and set aside to let cool to room temperature.

Step 3

Separate skin, tendons, and meat from bones, discarding bones. Cut skin, tendons, and meat into narrow strips about 2" long and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add red wine vinegar, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss well. Cover and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Step 4

For the dressing. Whisk raw egg yolk and mustard together in a medium mixing bowl. Gradually add oil in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly until mixture is emulsified and oil is completely incorporated. Stir in worcestershire sauce. Fold in crème fraîche.

Step 5

Add dressing to bowl with marinated calves' feet and gently mix together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle hard-cooked egg whites and yolks over salad and stir into salad just before serving.

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