Calves’ Feet Salad
(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This salad is Gerard Chave’s improvisation on a dish he learned from Alain Chapel; it was originally made with sheep’s feet.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
- 1⁄4 bunch parsley
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄4 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
- 3⁄4 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.