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Best way to cook sweetbreads

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
What is the best way, in your personal opinions of course, to prepare and cook sweetbreads?

My chef/instructor was kind enough to allow me and the class to cook come sweetbreads on Saturday (last day of cooking theory). What kind of side items would be good?

I'm interested in all kinds of different preperations, since he more than likely will allow us to go nuts and try whatever we want.

Thanks for the help.
post #2 of 2
ok....if you wanna do them up right Kelly McCowen from Neibaum Coppola Winery made these a week ago for a couple of demonstrations. They will put you through your paces. The snails were incredible!

.....1# Veal Sweetbreads, poached and portioned
4oz Salsify, cooked in a blanc and cut into batons
2-3oz Fresh Perigord Truffles, 1/8” dice
3oz Port~Truffle Vinaigrette (see recipe)
6oz Poached Snails (see recipe)
1oz Black Truffle Juice
1oz Vegetable Stock
1/4oz Lemon Confit
1ea Yukon Gold Potato, brunoise and fried crispy
4ea Slices Applewood Smoked Bacon, brunoise and rendered
1/8oz Fresh Chervil, chopped
1/8oz Fresh Chives, chopped
1ea Shallot, minced
1/4bnch Fresh Thyme
1oz Beurre Fondue
1oz Olive Oil, pomace
Salt and White Pepper

Method for Service:

In a small sauteuese, warm the snails, salsify, and diced truffles gently on a low flame.
At the same time, heat a sturdy sauté pan over medium high heat and add the pomace oil.
Dry the sweetbreads with a paper towel and season well with salt and fresh ground white pepper on one side.
When the oil is hot in the pan, place the sweetbreads (seasoned side down) in the pan and brown well. Season the other side of the sweetbread while cooking. (Note: Always lay the sweetbread in the pan away from you, to avoid any injury from the hot oil)
While the sweetbreads are browning, check the ragout for heat and seasoning.
Turn the sweetbreads over in the pan and allow to cook on the other side.
In a separate sauteuese, begin warming up the very dry lemon confit.
Once the lemon confit is dry, add the bacon brunoise and allow to “toast”.
Add some cold butter to the sauté pan and allow to “caramelize”. Once the butter begins to foam, add the fresh thyme and shallots and baste.
While continuing to baste the sweetbreads, add the beurre fondue to the ragout and adjust seasoning.
Remove sweetbreads from the pan and allow to drain on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
Add the chervil to the ragout and the chives and crispy potatoes to the lemon bacon mixture.
Spoon the ragout into the “well” of a entrée bowl. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.
Lay the sweetbread on top of the ragout and spoon the bacon, lemon, chive, and potato topping on to the sweetbread.
Milk Poached Sweetbreads

1# Veal Sweetbreads
1qt Organic Whole Milk
1/2bnch Winter Savory
1/2bnch Sage
2ea Fresh California Bay Leaves
1/2bnch Fresh Thyme
1/2bnch Fresh Nepeta
1tsp Whole Black Peppercorns
2tsp Maldon Salt


In a thick bottom sauce pot, add milk, all herbs, salt, and peppercorns.
Bring mixture up to 140ºf, being careful not to scald the milk.
Dry sweetbreads well with a paper towel and add to the poaching liquid. (Note: You will need to monitor the flame to keep the temperature constant.)
Poach sweetbreads to an internal temperature of 110ºf.
Once the sweetbread have reached temperature, remove from milk and place into a shallow ½ hotel pan.
Fill another ½ hotel pan with a copious amount of ice and place on top of the other pan……”pressing” the sweetbreads.
Place this in the cooler and allow to cool.
Once the sweetbreads are cool, remove from the pan and portion into 3.5oz tranch cuts.

Poached Snails

4 cans Snails
2 qts. Vegetable Stock
2 cups White Wine
8 cloves Garlic, crushed
½ bunch Thyme
½ bunch Parsley
3 ea. Bay Leaves
3 T Oil
2 T Salt


Drain snails and rinse well.
In a small rondo, sweat garlic in oil for 2 minutes. Add parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and continue to sweat for 2 more minutes.
Add wine and bring to a simmer to cook off alcohol.
Add snails, vegetable stock,, and salt. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Ice down snails in their poaching liquid and reserve for service.

Vegetable Stock

Yield: 6.75 gallons

5 gallons Onions, peeled
2.5 gallons Carrots, peeled and sliced thin
2.5 gallons Celery, peeled and sliced thin
3 bunches Leeks - whites only, split, washed and sliced thin
6 heads Fennel, sliced thin
8 heads Garlic, split in half
3 each Bay leaves, fresh
2 bunches Thyme
1 bunch Italian parsley
1 bunch Tarragon
1 sprig Rosemary
1 bunch Chervil
¼ cup Coriander seeds
6 pieces Star anise
¼ cup Salt
1.5 l (2 bottles) White wine

Combine all ingredients and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for 1 hour.
Strain and chill.

Port Wine Vinaigrette

2ea Ruby Port, 750ml bottles
1/8cup Perigord Truffles, brunoise
1cup Shallots, minced
½ cup Lemon Juice
1/8 cup Soy Sauce
2tb Dijon Mustard
1 1/2cups Grape Seed Oil
1tb Italian Black Truffle Oil
1tsp Butter
Salt and White Pepper


In a thick bottom sauce sweat truffles and shallots in the butter until soft. Season gently with salt and white pepper.
Add port wine and reduce.
Remove from heat and allow too cool.
Add lemon juice, Dijon, and soy sauce, mixing well.
Gradually emulsify in grapeseed oil and adjust seasoning
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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