This recipe for Calf’s Head Soup has been taken from the manuscript recipe book of Margaret Stewart. Margaret, who was a daughter of Alexander, 10th Lord Blantyre, was married to a doctor and clergyman, Reverend Andrew Stewart, the minister of Erskine. The book was compiled between 1799 and 1835. This page appears to be dated 1830.
Margaret’s recipe book is unusual as it includes a number of very basic recipes such as this soup; often these were not written down, possibly because it was assumed they were well known. This recipe also emphasises that until the very recent past, it was normal for all parts of an animal to be utilised. Since the advent of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) at the end of the 20th century, it is not possible to buy beef with brain or spinal cord attached.