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How to Cook Beef Brain

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Beef brain with pasta and fresh tomatoes.

Beef brain with pasta and fresh tomatoes.

Consuming Beef Brain

Some people may consider the consumption of animal brains to be gross and insane, but trust me—once you try a brain that has been properly prepared, you will change your mind completely.

With the first bite, you will experience the aroma and the striking union of flavours. It is a taste that you will either adore or never want to taste again. You will either love it or loathe it.

There are many ways to prepare beef brain, but honestly, this recipe is my favourite. We usually cook this dish for special events. (But it would probably be best if you refrained from cooking it on a first date.)

One reason I like this recipe is that during the initial five steps, you can still change your mind and create a completely different dish (such as the pasta dish shown above).

Cooking Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour

1 hour

2 hours

Serves 4 people

Beef brain, ready to be cooked.

Beef brain, ready to be cooked.

Boiled beef brain

Boiled beef brain


  • 0.5 to 0.6 kilograms beef brain
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 to 2 bay leaves
  • 3 to 4 pepper peas
  • 1/5 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 slice onion
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 200 to 250 grams sour cream
  • 50 grams flour


  1. Put the brain into a pot of cold water and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Leave the brain in the water for one hour.
  2. Very gently remove the membrane of the brain without removing it from the water. Once the membrane is gone, replace the water. Make sure water covers the brain.
  3. Add salt, pepper, peas, bay leaf and the rest of the vinegar to the pot and place it on medium-high heat. As soon as the water starts boiling, reduce the heat and let it boil slowly for 20 min.
  4. In the meantime, chop the onion into small pieces ready for frying.
  5. Remove the boiled brain and put it in a colander to drain for 3 to 5 minutes. When the moisture is almost gone, cut the brain into medium-sized pieces, about 3 to 4 centimetres each.
  6. Add flour to the brain and fry it with onion, black pepper and any spices you like. (Use butter for frying.)
  7. Once the brain has taken on a light brown colour, add sour cream and cook it in the oven for 20 to 30 min at 160˚C. I use a pyrex dish for this step.
  8. Serve it warm with fresh or cooked vegetables.

Serving Suggestions

Beef brain pairs well with eggs, salad or flavourful sauce.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 SAM ELDER