Artist's Palate: Philippe Parreno's stuffed spleen

’Albi’ silver-plated underplate, £388, by Christofle, from Harrods
(Image credit: John Short)

French multimedia artist Philippe Parreno (W*176) orchestrates his exhibitions (such as last year’s critical smash at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris) like an immersive performance of film, objects and sound. The dish he has sent us is a harder sell. ‘It is made from veal spleen stuffed with pork, veal fat, stale breadcrumbs, cumin, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and parsley. Sounds disgusting but it’s fantastic,’ he maintains. ‘The recipe comes from a book, a collection of Jewish-Spanish North African recipes, that was made for me by my late mother. These are very old recipes – you wouldn’t find them in modern cookbooks, as people just don’t eat like this anymore. My mother included sayings from her grandmother on the pages facing each recipe. It’s morbid. My mother is dead, my great-grandmother is dead and the recipes are not cooked anymore. A book of death!’ Still, don’t let us put you off.

½ stale loaf of bread
1 veal spleen
1 egg
fat from veal heart
200g minced pork
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
ground black pepper
3 clove garlic (crushed)
2 whole cayenne peppers (crushed)
1 tsp parsley

Make bread crumbs with the stale bread. Clean the fat off the veal by pulling away the membrane around the fatty nodules. Clean the spleen by removing the skin. Cut open the spleen with a sharp knife, in order to create a pocket. Prepare the stuffing by mixing the beaten egg, fat, bread crumbs, minced pork, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, the peppers and parsley. Stuff the spleen with this mixture. Sew up the opening. Roast in a pot with a glass of water for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let it cool. To serve, cut the spleen in slices, and grill - ideally over a barbecue.


Interiors: Maria Sobrino. Food: Maud Eden