First things first: no, it’s not really Hannibal Lecter’s brain. I guess the numerous times I felt queasy while watching Hannibal wasn’t enough to phase me. Besides his taste for flesh, Hannibal’s (unorthodox) culinary prowess cannot be discounted. His knowledge of the culinary arts was extensively displayed in the series, albeit in cringe-inducing ways.
Cooking offal, especially brain, can be intimidating to the home cook but once you’re past the cleaning process, it’s a cake walk. The slightly crisp brain retains its delicate gelatinous constitution and distinct flavor. The rich and savory offal is offset by the Parmesan’s lacy texture and the fresh salad greens. The next time you’re having an old friend for dinner, consider our Hannibal-inspired dish. We only hope your friend enjoys it as much as you do!
Sautéed Ox Brain with Parmesan Chips and Salad
Yield: 2 servings
Time: 1 day (20 min prep / 25 min cooking / 24 hours rinsing)
- 2 calf’s brain
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ stick salted butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup parmesan, freshly grated
- salad greens, for side
- 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- Pick the blood vessels and film off the brains and soak in cold water overnight. Change the water every 2–3 hours. Soak until the water remains clear.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Pour a heaping tablespoon of parmesan onto a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet and lightly pat down.
- Bake for 3–5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool the parmesan chips.
- Blanch brains in boiling water with salt for two minutes and remove onto a rack to thoroughly drain.
- Season with salt and pepper. roll through a pan of flour to coat evenly.
- Melt butter in a skillet on medium high heat. When it is frothy and begins to turn a nut brown color, add the brains. Sauté until golden brown, constantly basting with butter to evenly brown. Remove and keep warm.
- In another skillet, melt 3–4 tablespoons of salted butter and quickly sauté parsley and garlic. Remove from heat, squeeze lemon and pour over brains.