Inner Beauty: Cow
I promised you cow stomach, more correctly, cow reticulum, or as it’s called here bonnet de boeuf, and there you have it. Isn’t it beautiful? I’m not sure why the inside of a cow needs to be beautiful, but it is.
It’s an amazing collection of textures, considering that it’s just one part of just one animal. I don’t know why a cow needs so many textures in just one of its stomachs, but I’m sure there’s a reason.
Probably I could shellac this, or paint it brightly, pass it off as sculpture, and make enough to earn my next few plates of tripes à la Lyonnaise. It’s that gorgeous. I imagine that you’re wondering whether it smells weird, coming from the inside of a cow. Actually, it smells a tiny bit of bleach when you buy it, the bleach that was used to clean it perfectly.
So now, following an amalgam of recipes, I have my bonnet de boeuf simmering for “une bonne heure,” a little over an hour, in water with onion, garlic, salt and pepper. I think the guy said to add white wine to the water too, but since you add wine to the dish itself, I’m probably remembering wrong. Anyway, it’s wine-less at this stage, and when it’s done simmering and has cooled, I’ll be slicing it up into fine strips and chilling it overnight until I’m ready to cook it for our Sunday lunch guests tomorrow. If you can get a cow stomach you can cook along – I’m thinking that an Asian market will have one.
I got mine here, where they also sell lamb from the Alps of Provence, beef from Aubrac, milk-fed lamb, farm pork from the Auvergne, lamb from the salt marshes around the Mont Saint Michel, poultry from Bresse, milk-fed veal from the Limousin, and wild game, when it’s in season. See why we love Lyon?