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Cooking with Hannibal: Savoureux

Tête de Veau, Parsley Sauce, Quail Eggs, Capers, Red Potatoes and Red Onions

Tête de Veau, Parsley Sauce, Quail Eggs, Capers, Red Potatoes and Red Onions

What to serve your traumatized shrink? Head, clearly. In this episode, Hannibal surprises the beautiful Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (played by Gillian Anderson…yes, Scully!) with a platter of Tête de Veau – veal head. Needless to say, this is not a popular dish in America.

Tête de Veau, Parsley Sauce, Quail Eggs, Capers, Red Potatoes and Red Onions

Tête de Veau, Parsley Sauce, Quail Eggs, Capers, Red Potatoes and Red Onions

As you can see from this shot, he serves it as a sort of a roulade of the head meat from the “veal” and then adds the bone marrow to the plate. In this sketch below, you can see how the individual roulades of deboned veal head are served.

Sketch of Tête de Veau by Food Stylist Janice Poon

Sketch of Tête de Veau by Food Stylist Janice Poon

Speaking of bone marrow, browsing old cookbooks the other day, I came across an Osso Bucco recipe in The Dione Lucas Book of French Cookery. It’s an oldie but goodie by Dione Lucas, who was born about 3 years before Julia Child. She was also a huge proponent of French cooking, as the first female Cordon Bleu grad. She worked as a hotel chef before opening a French cooking school in London in the 1930s, and eventually ended up moving to the USA, publishing cookbooks and opening a cooking school here. She was the first female host of a cooking show in the USA. Unfortunately for her, she wasn’t nearly as personable or lovable as Julia Child, so she is a name that seldom comes up anymore, while good old Julia is an American icon.

What’s kind of funny is that Osso Bucco is an Italian dish and this is a French cuisine cookbook, but let’s not nitpick. In the original recipe, Lucas uses veal shins that still have some meat on the outside of the bone. Most places don’t have this anymore, so I’ve adapted the recipe a bit. I also changed the rice to Arborio rice. Really, Dione? Long-grain? For shame!

Osso Bucco: Braised Veal Shins with Risotto

Adapted from The Dione Lucas Book of French Cookery

Yield: 4 Servings


2 1/2 pounds veal shins or knuckle, cut across the bone into 4 pieces 

1 clove garlic, halved

1/4 cup dry Sherry

Freshly cracked white pepper

3/4 cup salted butter

1/2 cup Cognac

2 white onions, finely chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic

6 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced

3/4 cup pine nuts

Salt to taste

1  1/2 cups arborio rice

3 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon saffron

3 tablespoons cold water

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Rub veal with cut halves of garlic clove. Brush veal with Sherry and season with pepper. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the Cognac in a shallow pan, ignite it, and pour over the veal bones in a sauté pan. Remove the veal bones from sauté pan. In the same pan, melt the rest of the salted butter but do not let it brown. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms and pine nuts. Stir in the rice, then add chicken stock. Add the saffron to the cold water then add to the rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the rice to a boil.

Put the veal on a platter and serve with the rice. Top with the Parmesan cheese.


About francoiseeats

I'm currently working as a freelance travel and food writer, and photographer. I spent two years at, the culinary on-line magazine for the industry insider. My articles have been published in New York, NY and Richmond, VA. After graduating from Columbia University and recovering from the tragedy of not being able to read Camus books for a living, I attended The Culinary Institute of America, where my scone consumption rose drastically. Fluent in French and Italian, I've worked in some of New York's top restaurants and covered food-related stories in a number of publications, from The Richmond Times-Dispatch to Time Out New York.

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  1. Pingback: Cooking with Hannibal: Sakizuki | Francoise Villeneuve

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