Sweetbreads, although considered a great delicacy, are not always readily available, so you may have to order them from your butcher. Soaking helps to keep them white. The sauce is deliberately kept fairly mild, so that the delicate flavour of the sweetbreads can be enjoyed to the full.
Beautifully tender and served in a simple sauce, sweetbreads make an appetising and unusual dish.
450 g (1 lb) sweetbreads
1 small onion, skinned and chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
few fresh parsley stalks
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
40 g (1 1/2 oz) butter
60 ml (4 tbsp) plain flour
300 ml (1/2 pint) fresh milk ~
squeeze of lemon juice
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
1. Rinse and soak the sweetbreads in cold water for 2 hours. Drain and remove any fat attached.
2. Put the sweetbreads, vegetables, herbs and salt and pepper in a saucepan with water to cover, then simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until the sweetbreads are tender. Drain, reserving 300 ml (1/2 pint) of the cooking liquid, and keep hot.
3. Put the butter, flour, milk and reserved stock in a saucepan. Heat, whisking continuously, until the sauce thickens, boils and is smooth. Simmer for 1 - 2 minutes. Season to taste and add the lemon juice.
4. Add the sweetbreads to the sauce and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve at once with new potatoes and a green vegetable.