• Veal Brain Tacos


Tacos fit for a zombie fest.

By Andrew Zimmern

You can find these delicious veal brain tacos at Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen during this weekend’s annual Zombie Pub Crawl-re, or if you’d rather avoid the raucous fake blood-covered crowd, try making them at home.

Veal Brain Tacos



  • 5 quarts water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 ounces kosher salt
  • 1/2 ounce peppercorns
  • 3/4 pounds carrots, peeled, minced
  • 1 pound onions, minced
  • 2 ounces parsley stalks
  • 1 stick of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Veal Brains

  • 5 pounds veal brains
  • 1 recipe court-bouillon

Brain Taco

  • 6-inch flour tortillas
  • Minced onion
  • Minced cilantro
  • Pickled jalapeños slices
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Pickled Jalapeño

  • 2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 jalapeños sliced into very thin rings


Make the Court Bouillon

In a saucepan, add the water, salt, vinegar, carrots and onions. Add the herbs and bay in a bunch. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour.  Add the peppercorns 12 minutes before straining. Rub through a fine sieve and reserve.

Simmer the Brains

Remove the membrane from the brains. Soak them in cold, fresh water until they turn quite white. Put the brains in a saucepan with enough simmering court-bouillon to cover them well; skim and cook gently for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the brains sit in the stock for 15 minutes. Remove the brains and cool. Portion the brains into roughly 2.5 ounce portions and reserve.

Build Your Tacos

Season the brain with salt and pepper. Heat a griddle over medium-high heat. Add a little oil and sear the brains lightly on both sides.  Toast the tortilla shell. Place the brains on the tortilla and garnish with the onion, cilantro and jalapeño slices. Garnish with lime wedge and green chili tomatillo sauce if desired.

Pickled Jalapeños

Boil the vinegar, sugar water and salt. Pour over the sliced jalapeños to cover. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

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