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Aspic (sulz) Recipe

Aspic, also known as sulz, is a traditional dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. This savory jelly dish originated in Europe and has since become popular in many different cultures. It is typically made by boiling meat, bones, and vegetables to extract their flavors, then setting the liquid into a jelly-like consistency.

The recipe for aspic provided includes calf's feet, beef, calf's head, vegetables, and various seasonings. Let's break down the steps to create this delicious and refreshing dish.

To start, you will need:

- 2 calf's feet, chopped up
- 1 pound of beef
- 1 calf's head
- 1 quart of water
- 1 cup of white wine
- 1 celery root
- 3 small onions
- A bunch of parsley
- 1 dozen whole peppercorns
- 1/2 dozen cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon of fine salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of vinegar

Step 1: In a large pot, combine the calf's feet, beef, calf's head, water, and white wine. Add the celery root, small onions, parsley, whole peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer steadily for eight hours. This slow cooking time will help extract all the flavors from the meat and vegetables.

Step 2: Once the eight hours have passed, strain the mixture through a fine hair sieve. This will remove any solids and ensure a smooth, clear aspic.

Step 3: Allow the liquid to cool completely. Once cool, remove any fat that has risen to the surface. This will result in a cleaner and more appetizing aspic.

Step 4: Return the liquid to the stove and bring it to a boil again, skimming off any impurities that rise to the surface. Skimming is an important step in the process to achieve a clear and transparent aspic.

Step 5: While the liquid is boiling, break two eggs, shells and all, into a deep bowl. Beat them up with one cup of vinegar until well combined.

Step 6: Pour some of the hot soup stock into the egg and vinegar mixture, stirring continuously. This tempering step will prevent the eggs from curdling in the hot liquid.

Step 7: Return the mixture to the stove and bring it to a boil once more, stirring constantly. This will help thicken the aspic and infuse it with the flavors of the eggs and vinegar.

Step 8: Remove the pot from the heat and strain the liquid through a jelly bag or fine-mesh sieve. This will remove any remaining impurities and result in a smooth, silky aspic.

Step 9: Pour the strained liquid into individual jelly-glasses or a large mold. Allow the aspic to cool completely and then place it in the refrigerator or on ice to set. This can take a few hours or overnight, depending on the desired consistency.

When serving, the aspic can be enjoyed as a cold appetizer or as part of a larger meal. It can be garnished with slices of goose liver, seasoned with salt, pepper, cloves, and onion. Additionally, you can add in slices of hard-boiled egg whites, which will provide additional texture and flavor to the dish.

Now, for some fun facts about aspic! Did you know that aspic was traditionally used as a way to preserve and present leftover meats? By setting them in gelatin, the meat would remain fresh for longer periods of time. Aspic became especially popular during the Victorian era when elaborate molds and decorative presentations were in vogue. It was often served as an impressive centerpiece during formal dinners.

Similar dishes to aspic can be found in various cuisines around the world. In France, a similar dish known as "terrine" is made by combining ground meats, herbs, and spices, then cooking them until they set. In Russian cuisine, a dish called "holodets" is made using a similar method to create a savory jelly-like dish from meat and vegetables.

Aspic continues to be enjoyed today, albeit less frequently than in the past. However, if you're looking to impress your guests with a unique and traditional dish, aspic might just be the perfect choice. Its smooth texture, rich flavors, and elegant presentation make it a memorable addition to any meal. So go ahead, give this classic recipe a try, and enjoy the timeless taste of aspic!

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