When Jacques Chirac became president of France in 1995 and let it be known that tête de veau was his favourite dish, suddenly every restaurant in the land starting putting it on their menus, and it wasn’t long before everywhere Chirac went, he would be served tête de veau, until he became completely and utterly sick of it.
But it’s always been a big favourite...there’s even an official Tête de Veau Day (21 January)—the day they guillotined Louis XVI!
Butchers strip the meat off a calf’s head and prepare it in bundles for the cook. The traditional recipe is to boil it for hours with white wine, a leek, an onion, carrots, potatoes and a bouquet garni and serve it with a sauce gribiche, but chefs do fancier things with them, too.
In the Massif Central, they call it testo de bedel.
Images by herval, Myrabella / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0