Gourmet Food Source
Widely considered as the king of offal and quite rightly so. Mild and delicate they lend themselves to a huge number of recipes from the simplest Italian to the most classic of French.
Sweetbreads consist of two parts of the thymus gland, the throat and heart. The throat bread is longer than the heart bread and they are both treated to the same preparations. In some quarters the stomach or pancreas bread is referred to as a sweetbread but I have not come across them.
The fiddly bit now ensues, taking a small sharp knife remove as much of the sinew and bits of gristle as is possible, patience is a pre-requisite for first timers but the end result is worth the trouble. Once peeled the sweetbreads can be used in many ways, quickly pan-fried, served in a variety of sauces or mixed into a forcemeat or terrine. Purchasing sweetbreads usually involves placing an order with your butcher and it is likely that you will get lambs sweetbreads rather than calves. Do not be perturbed as they are considerably cheaper and in my view equally as good.
Content and picture © Miles Collins