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This salad is Gerard Chave's improvisation on a dish he learned from Alain Chapel; it was originally made with sheep's feet.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.

Calves' Feet Salad
This salad is Gerard Chave's improvisation on a dish he learned from Alain Chapel; it was originally made with sheep's feet.
Yield: serves 4-6

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

Instructions

  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.
  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 12 hours. Transfer feet to a wide dish, discarding cooking liquid, and set aside to let cool to room temperature.
  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.
  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.
  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.