Thursday, 5 February 2015

Sweet, Sweet Sweetbreads

It's no secret that I have a soft spot for offal. I'm not particularly sure why. I think there's something about supporting the underdog - in a world where some people won't even eat meat off the bone, it's clear that internal organs aren't going to be that popular... 

But, it's also about creating a good meal from something that's generally considered worthless. Above all, it's about discovering a hidden gem, a new deliciousness that rivals the more expensive cuts, but at a fraction of the price.

And when Martin Dawes blogged about his adventures with offal, it got me thinking. I hadn't experimented with offal for a while (aside from a pig's heart and liver stew for the dog) and I felt it was time for me to get my offal back on. More to the point, it was time for me to have a go at cooking my favourite kind of offal; sweetbreads.

It seems that fate was on my side as I then spotted a post on Mr Pickles's Facebook page saying that they had just taken delivery of a whole lamb. Whole lamb = lamb offal = lamb sweetbreads.

Having never cooked sweetbreads before I did a bit of Googling to see how I should go about preparing them. See, cooking offal can be a bit tricky - one false move and you're in for a bad meal and I was a bit nervous that I'd mess up my sweetbreads! 

The general consensus seems to be that they benefit from a good long soak, so I sat them in a bowl of water overnight. The next morning, I put them in a pan of cold water, brought it to the boil and then simmered for a minute before plunging the sweetbreads into iced water. Once cool, I peeled the membrane from each, dipped them in a bit of egg, rolled them in a bit of flour and fried in butter until golden.

Sheffield Food Blog, Lamb Sweetbreads

Mmmm... I served them on hot buttered toast with a little rocket and they were delicious... so soft and delicate. I'm glad I took the time to read up on how to prepare them, as they were as good as any I'd had before. And, now that I've cooked sweetbreads once, I'm sure I'll be experimenting with them again in the future!

So, have you been experimenting with any offal recently? Let me know what delights you've found!


  1. Sounds lovely. I popped in but he had sold out and was told to call up the following week and clean forgot. We are talking glands here and not goolies? You cooked them the way I used to do in Exeter far too long ago to remember.

  2. Oh, yes, we are talking glands.

    I'll have you know that I run a civilised establishment here Mr Dawes. We don't care for 'goolies'. (Well, apart from that one time, but that was in Paris...)