• The entire heads of two white veal calves
  • Four leeks
  • Four onions
  • Four carrots
  • Four sticks of celery
  • Peppercorns
  • Salt
  • A bouquet garni of parsley, thyme and bay
  • One pike, cleaned and gutted


  • A selection of razors
  • A blowtorch
  • A paring knife
  • An axe
  • A copy of the Eikon Basilike, The Pourtrature of His Sacred Majestie in His Solitudes and Sufferings
  • A copy of Milton’s Defensio pro Populo Anglicano (these need not be first editions; facsimile reproductions would be preferable to photocopies)


Under treason felony, imagining regicide is a crime.

The eye will come out entire, cone-shaped


Write an invitation including the following text: ‘You are invited to a dinner of tête de veau. 30th January. RSVP.’ Include a secure return address. Do not trust email.

You may include the following lyric sheet with your invitations.

Now let us sing, carouse and roar

The happy day has come once more

For to revel

Is but civil

As our fathers did before

Who, when the tyrant would enslave us

Chopped his calves head off to save us.

Remove all skin, hair and fat from the heads. Residual fat will result in the finished dish having a bitter flavour. Remove the hair by a combination of shaving and burning. The burning will produce a foul smell. Inhale it deeply. The particulate will enter your body through the olfactory membranes and certain bio-chemical responses will occur. The skin will be removed by cutting and pulling. Take care with the incisions. The skin will come away easily over the scalp but with difficulty around the eyes. Look into the eyes of the calf. What do you see? Imagine the calf carousing in a Las Vegas hotel room. Imagine its views on contemporary architecture. Imagine it applying sun tan lotion to the bare flanks of its partner. Is it human?

Residual fat will result in the finished dish having a bitter flavour. Pare away fat wherever it is found. You will need a sharp paring knife.

Remove the tongues from each head and reserve. Cleave one head in two laterally, aiming between the eyes. You may use a cleaver or an axe for this. Do not look into the eyes of the calf at this point in the recipe. The remaining two heads should be maintained in the piece.

Poach each head with its tongue, two carrots, two leeks, peppercorns and plenty of salt. Poach over a low heat or in a cool oven (120 C) for at least five hours. Test with a meat skewer. When the calves’ heads are ready the skewer will pass through the meat with ease. Take care not to undercook. Allow the cleaved head to cool in the poaching liquid. Remove what is left of the eyes. You may want to peer into the eye sockets of the calf. What do you see? The crematoria of Cornwall?

The cleaved head you should slice thickly, serving the meat with broth and slices of the calf’s brain. Into the mouth of the cooled complete head, insert a pike. This represents tyranny. You may cook a third complete head, allow it to cool and strip it of all meat and sinew, to use as a toasting cup. This part of the recipe is optional.


  • Ceremonial burning of Eikon Basilike, The Pourtrature of His Sacred Majestie in His Solitudes and Sufferings
  • Swearing of an oath over Defensio pro Populo Anglicano
  • Singing of anthem
  • Toast to patriots
  • Dinner
  • Collection (please give generously)


“Nature and laws would be in ill case if slavery were eloquent, and liberty mute; if tyrants should find defenders, and they that are potent to master and vanquish tyrants should find none.” John Milton, Defensio pro Populo Anglicano

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