Years ago, La Pyramide in Vienne was the largest temple to gastronomy, led by Fernand Point, mentor to subsequent big names like Paul Bocuse and the Troisgros Brothers. Following many years of closure, Patrick Henriroux took the ruins under his wing and turned it into a veritable dream world. Patrick learned his skills from Roger Vergé and Georges Blanc after his arrival from Vesoul (a city in the region of Franche- Comté in eastern France). Head chef at La Pyramide Christophe Née, received his title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2004, the highest award for a chef in France, and for the purpose of our book, both gentlemen wanted to demonstrate how veal used to be prepared in days gone by. We loved the idea. Patrick: “It’s such a shame that the glory of the olden days has disappeared. We’re not allowed to present veal hearts in the same way anymore when once upon a time, we would have presented the whole heart at the table! And Cul de Veau (the calf’s rear end) reminds me of the Sundays I used to spend at my grandmother’s house. Actually, any type of veal reminds me of my youth.”
Rinse the veal heart for 24 hours in ice-cold water and refresh the water regularly. Tie the heart with butcher’s twine to retain its shape, and sear on all sides in clarified butter, in a casserole dish. Add the sliced vegetables and the bouquet garni and deglaze with Noilly Prat and veal jus. Season with salt and bake in the oven with the lid on for 60-90 minutes at 180°C/355°F. Remove the meat and the vegetables from the pan. Reduce the jus and thicken with the beurre noisette. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve and season to taste. For the pommes Anna, peel the potatoes, cut into rounds and then into thin slices using a meat slicer. Overlap the potatoes like fish scales in a casserole dish and cover with clarified butter. Bake this in the oven for 40-45 minutes at 160°C/320°F. Before serving, cut the veal heart into quarters and position it on the plate. Discard any excess butter from the potatoes and add some to the plate. Serve with the sauce, and a green salad if you wish.
Rinse the sweetbreads overnight in cold water, drain well and blanch for 5 minutes in water with thyme, bay leaf and coarse sea salt. Immerse in iced water immediately and pat dry before setting them to one side. Boil the potatoes in salted water. When cooked, cut into small cubes and mix with the capers, snipped chives, vinegar, diced shallots, cream, egg yolks and the finely-cut marrow. Press this mixture into cylinders that are 2 cm in diameter and 6 cm high, and put in the freezer. Mix the breadcrumbs with the trompettes de la mort powder. Take the mixture out of the cylinders and coat with the breadcrumb mix. Just before serving, deep-fry these in oil at 170°C/340°F until golden brown and bake a further 5 minutes in an oven at 180°C/355°F. Brown the sweetbreads all over in clarified butter, add some fresh butter and garlic and thyme. Baste regularly. Clean the cardoon and cook in a blanc until done. Slice into sticks and rub with fresh butter. Fry the wild mushrooms in butter, season with salt and pepper, and serve on a plate with the cardoon. Place the sweetbreads on top and finish with the potato croquette and different kinds of lettuce. Serve with the veal jus.
4 sweetbreads (200g each), 1 clove of garlic, 1 sprig of thyme, clarified butter, fresh butter, 3 quality stalks of cardoon, 200g trompettes de la mort, 100g breadcrumbs, 100g trompettes de la mort powder, 15g capers, 50g bone marrow, 5g chives, 50g roseval potatoes, 15g sherry-vinegar, 1 egg yolk, 20g cream, 5g shallots, several kinds of lettuce, veal jus.
Season the meat with salt and pepper and brown in clarified butter. When nicely browned, add the fresh butter, garlic and thyme. Baste regularly with the sizzling butter and put in the oven for 5 minutes at 200°C/290°F. Rest the meat on a rack and deglaze the pan with a little water. Add the veal jus, pass it through a fine-mesh sieve and thicken with butter. Heat some clarified butter in a deep pan and sauté the potatoes. Add the carrots, kohlrabi, spring onions and the celery, cover the pan, and simmer until cooked. Fry the penny bun mushrooms with the caramelised shallots. Add them to the vegetables and quickly stir in the spinach. Place the meat on top of the vegetables and take the pan to the table, with the sauce separate in a sauce boat.