Video - Cooking Sweetbreads

As promised, the sweetbreads cooking video is posted below (if you can’t see the video, please click here to watch).  


A special thank you is in order to Chef Joe at Cucina Urbana who coached me through a lot of the prep work involved.

Sweetbreads are delicious and may be prepared with a straightforward sauté.  However, they do require some due diligence as you’ll likely have to preorder the meat and prepare the court bouillon at least one day ahead. 

Here is what I did:

1)     Prepare and cool court bouillon one day ahead.  (recipe per CIA cookbook)

2)     Soak sweetbreads in cold milk and refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight.

3)     Remove sweetbreads from milk and discard milk.  Rinse meat in a colander under cold water.

4)     Bring both sweetbreads and court bouillon to room temperature.

5)     Place sweetbreads in stockpot or Dutch oven and cover with court bouillon mixture.  Gently simmer over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until firm and whitish in appearance.  Do not boil.

6)     Remove sweetbreads from broth mixture and rinse in colander under cold water for 10 minutes.

7)     Gently remove the outer membrane and any obvious veins.

8)     Roll sweetbreads in cheesecloth, like a burrito.  Place sweetbread “logs” in a loaf pan and place a second loaf pan on top of the first.  Weigh down the top pan with a brick, rock, or heavy cans.  Refrigerate for a few hours or until firm and sweetbreads have flattened.

9)     Remove sweetbreads from the pan and break into “chicken McNugget sized pieces.”  Remove any remaining bits of cartilage, vein, or membrane.

10)  To prepare breading combine ¼ cup cornmeal, ¼ cup flour and ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs.  Season generously with salt and pepper.

11) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

12) Melt 1-2 TB butter and 1-2 TB grape seed oil (or another neutral oil with high smoke point) in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Allow butter to foam.  Swirl to combine.

13) After foaming subsides, dredge sweetbread pieces in flour mixture and drop into hot pan.  Repeat with remaining pieces.  Allow sweetbreads to brown.  When sweetbreads are crisp and golden brown, flip with tongs.  Season with addition salt and pepper to taste.

14) Place pan in the oven and continue baking for 5 minutes.

15) Serve with lentils and veggie sauté of pancetta/garlic/mushrooms/ red wine and spinach.  Season well.  Sprinkle with chopped chives for flourish.