Recipes > Soup > Calf's-Head Soup

Calf's-Head Soup


  • 1/2 calf's head
  • 1 onion stuck with cloves
  • 1 very small bunch of sweet herbs
  • 2 blades of mace
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 6 ounces of rice-flour
  • 3 tablespoonfuls of ketchup
  • 3 quarts of white stock, or pot-liquor, or water


Rub the head with salt, soak it for 6 hours, and clean it thoroughly; put it in the stewpan, and cover it with the stock, or pot-liquor, or water, adding the onion and sweet herbs. When well skimmed and boiled for 1 1/2 hours, take out the head, and skim and strain the soup. Mix the rice-flour with the ketchup, thicken the soup with it, and simmer for 5 minutes. Now cut up the head into pieces about two inches long, and simmer them in the soup till the meat and fat are quite tender. Season with white pepper and mace finely pounded, and serve very hot. When the calf's head is taken out of the soup, cover it up, or it will discolour.

Time: 2 1/2 hours.

Seasonable from May to October.

Sufficient for 10 persons.

Note: Force-meat balls can be added, and the soup may be flavoured with a little lemon-juice, or a glass of sherry or Madeira. The bones from the head may be stewed down again, with a few fresh vegetables, and it will make a very good common stock.


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The Book of Household Management (1861).

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