Petchah (Calf's Foot Jelly)

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“This is a recipe for a traditional aspic made from Calves feet. It is an old Ashkenazic recipe that speaks of past days. It is a recipe from the days when meager incomes and impoverished living conditions made it necessary to avoid wasting anything of nutritive value. The texture of the finished product is something that will no doubt polarize the RecipeZaar community (you either love the springiness and jell texture or you don't) and the flavors are assertive. It is not for the faint at heart. This recipe is provided for those who enjoy Petchah, are gastronomically daring, or who are interested in it from a cultural or historical perspective. The author makes no apologies. However, this is a traditional rendition of this dish and remains faithful to its humble Eastern European roots. Enjoy.”
1 tray

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Thoroughly rinse calves feet with water and place in a stockpot with enough water to cover.
  2. Bring the vessel to a boil and remove any scum that appears on the top.
  3. Drain the calves feet and cover again with a change of cold water. Bring to a boil again.
  4. Lower the burner to the lowest setting possible. Add the diced carrot and onion, salt and pepper. Cook on the lowest possible heat for a minimum of six hours, preferably overnight until any adherent meat, cartilage, tendons and ligaments separate easily from the bones.
  5. Reserve everything but the bones and discard the bones. Taste the broth and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
  6. Chop the meat, cartilage, softened tendons and ligaments into small pieces (being careful not to miss any bone fragments and to use only those pieces that can be easily cut with the knife) and mix with minced garlic. Alternatively, take the larger pieces and put with cloves into a food processor and process until well incorporated and a ball of lumpy paste is present in the food processor.
  7. Place the sliced eggs neatly in the bottom of a rectangular glass or enameled baking dish.
  8. Over the eggs, evenly distribute the meat/garlic mixture.
  9. Over this, pour the broth including the onions and carrots. Depth of the broth should be no less than one inch though an inch and a half is ideal.
  10. Allow mixture to cool on the counter or stove top briefly and then place on a shelf in refrigerator to sit, undisturbed, until the mixture solidifies. Any fat coming to the top of the mixture may be removed by skimming with the edge of a knife after mixture gels firmly.
  11. Following solification, the mixture should be cut into squares. It is served cold as an appetizer or as a cool snack. Garnish with a slice of lemon wedge which may be squeezed over the aspic for additional flavor.

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