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Calf's / Calves Foot Jelly Recipe
A jelly, made by making a stock that includes a calf's foot. This naturally sets when cold, and from Norman to Victorian times used to be popular as nourishment for invalids.
The Normans treated it as a treat in normal life, flavouring it with pepper and saffron, or perhaps red wine, then decorating it with laurel leaves - then serving it at banquets. The calf's feet will probably have to be ordered. Here is our version.
For about 1 pint/500ml
2 Calf's Feet - cut into pieces by your butcher, then, thoroughly washed -
6 oz (180gr) Caster Sugar
6 fl oz/ 175ml Dry Sherry
Half a Cinnamon Stick - about 1 ins/2.5cm
8 Allspice Berries
2 Egg Whites and crushed shells
1. Cover the calf’s feet in a saucepan of cold water and bring them to the boil – drain them, and rinse them in cold water.
2. Return them to the saucepan and cover with them with water again, bring them to the boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer – maintain them at a low ripple for 4 hours.
3. Strain the calf’s feet – but keeping the liquid.
4. When the liquid is cold, and possibly starting to set, remove any fat that’s come to the surface.
5. Measure 1 pint/500ml of the liquid into a saucepan – stainless steel if possible.
6. Add the allspice, cinnamon, sherry and sugar.
7. Grate the rind of 2 of the lemons (being careful not to include any white pith). Squeeze and sieve the juice from all 4 lemons.
8. Add enough water to the juice to make up ¼ pint/150ml, then add the grated zest and the egg whites and shells. Add this to the 1 pint of stock.
9. Bring this mixture to the boil, whisking as this happens. When the stock boils, stop whisking, set it aside and allow the stock to settle.
10. After about 10 minutes, slowly strain the stock through a jelly bag or very clean tea towel. Let this happen naturally, or you will make the end result cloudy.
11. When the jelly has completely cleared (this might possibly require two strainings) refrigerate it until needed.