Veal Sweetbreads (fried) Recipe

Veal Sweetbreads (Fried)

Veal sweetbreads have been enjoyed as a delicacy for centuries. Sweetbreads are the thymus glands or pancreas of a young calf. They are highly prized for their tender and delicate texture. Although they may not be as popular as they once were, sweetbreads still hold a special place in traditional cuisine. Fried sweetbreads, in particular, offer a crispy exterior and a rich, creamy interior. This recipe brings out the natural flavors of the sweetbreads while adding a touch of seasoning for a perfect balance.

Fun Facts:
- Sweetbreads can come from various animals, but veal sweetbreads are the most commonly used in culinary preparations.
- The name "sweetbread" is believed to have originated from the Old English term "sweetbrede" which means "meat delicacy."
- Sweetbreads were considered a luxury item during the medieval period and were reserved for royalty and nobility.

Now, let's get into the recipe:

- 1 pound veal sweetbreads
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Goose fat (or substitute with vegetable oil)
- Optional: lemon wedges for serving


1. Wash the sweetbreads under cold water and place them in a bowl filled with slightly salted cold water. Let them soak for about an hour. This step helps to remove any impurities.

2. Carefully remove the outer skin of the sweetbreads. Ensure that all the excess fat and membranes are removed. Pat them dry with a paper towel.

3. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the sweetbreads. This seasoning will enhance the flavors of the dish.

4. In a frying pan or a spider, heat some goose fat over medium heat. If you don't have goose fat, you can use vegetable oil as a substitute.

5. Once the fat is hot, add the sweetbreads to the pan. Fry them slowly on the back of the stove to maintain an even heat. Turn the sweetbreads frequently to ensure they cook evenly and develop a nice brown color.

6. Cook the sweetbreads until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside. The internal temperature should reach 160°F (71°C) to ensure they are fully cooked.

7. Once cooked, transfer the fried sweetbreads to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess fat.

8. Serve the veal sweetbreads hot with a side of lemon wedges for a touch of acidity. They can be enjoyed as a main course or as an appetizer.

Calf's Feet, Prunes, and Chestnuts:

Now, let's move on to another delicious recipe that incorporates calf's feet, prunes, and chestnuts. This recipe offers a unique combination of flavors and textures, perfect for those looking for a hearty and satisfying meal.

- 2 calf's feet, sawed into joints
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ pound Italian chestnuts, scalded and skinned
- â…› pound raisins
- 1 pound fine prunes
- 1 small onion
- 1 small head of celery root
- 2 olives, cut into small pieces
- â…› teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup soup stock
- 1 wine glass claret
- 1 wine glass sherry


1. Season the calf's feet joints with salt and pepper, and let them marinate overnight in the refrigerator. This step allows the flavors to penetrate the meat.

2. In an iron pot, place the scalded and skinned Italian chestnuts. Add the calf's feet, raisins, prunes, onion, celery root, olives, paprika, and soup stock. The combination of ingredients will create a rich and savory broth.

3. Slowly stew the mixture on medium-low heat for five hours. The low heat will allow the flavors to meld together while keeping the meat tender. Avoid stirring the pot to prevent the ingredients from breaking apart.

4. After five hours, add the claret wine and sherry to the pot. Let it continue to boil for another hour. The wine will add a depth of flavor and aroma to the dish.

5. Ensure that the calf's feet are fully cooked and tender before serving. The meat should be easily separated from the bones with a fork.

6. Serve the calf's feet, prunes, and chestnuts while hot, allowing the flavors to mingle even further.

Similar Recipe Dishes:
- Sweetbread Ragout: A rich and savory dish where sweetbreads are cooked in a flavorful sauce with onions, mushrooms, and herbs. It is often served over pasta or rice.
- Sweetbread Fricassée: A classic French preparation that involves poaching the sweetbreads in a creamy sauce with white wine and herbs, then serving them with a side of vegetables.
- Sweetbread Salad: Light and refreshing, sweetbread salad combines crispy fried sweetbreads with fresh greens, citrus segments, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.

Experiment with these recipes and discover the delightful flavors of sweetbreads. Whether you fry them to achieve a crispy texture or incorporate them into a hearty stew, sweetbreads are sure to impress your taste buds. Enjoy the decadence and elegance that this unique ingredient brings to your culinary creations.



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