Thursday, February 21, 2008
Sweetbreads with artickokes
Jacques Pepin calls sweetbreads the choicest of offals. Offal is what Bourdain calls, the Nasty bits. Sweetbreads are, in some cases, the thymus gland but more desirable are the pancreas.
I've had sweetbreads before and thought that they were delicious and have been meaning to try to make them for a really long time. I also just recently finally found a butcher in Los Angeles that doesn't snicker and say, "We don't have that!" When I ask for Pork Butt. So, here's to you, Bob's Market. May your butchers always get excited when I order non-standard cuts of meat.
I over thought this one. I read and read and read about it while it languished in the fridge. I settled on a recipe for the exceedingly comprehensive The Silver Spoon, but used Jacques Pepin's method of preparation, which added 24 hours to the process.
This the the abridged version of his method of prep. :
1. Soak in cold water for a few hours.
2. Put in a pan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
3. Shock it in ice water.
4. Pull of all rubbery or sinew pieces that adhere to the meat
5. Wrap sweetbread in a clean dry cotton cloth, place on a cookie sheet, place a cookie sheet on top of the sweetbread and then place 5-7 lb. of books or whatever on top of the cookie sheet to press the sweetbreads.
6. Press overnight.
The goal here being to remove any and all trace of pink.
Later I told my sister (a classically trained chef) about this method and she said the pressing was a waste of time. Boo.
I'm taking her work over Pepin's because it is easier.
Still, the soaking and the pulling off of all rubbery stuff is most certainly not a waste of time if you want it not to be gross.
Here is the basic recipe from The Silver Spoon:
1 tbsp. butter
1 lb. 2 oz. sweetbreads soaked and drained.
3.5 oz. prosciutto (my spell check wanted to change this to prostitute), cut into strips
3.25 cups dry white wine
salt and pepper
Parboil sweetbreads for 5-6 minutes, drain, cool, remove membrane and chop. Heat butter and bacon in a skillet, add sweetbreads, season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with white wine and cook until liquid is eveaporated.
Serve with quarted steamed globe artichokes.
Next time, I'm trying it with madeira wine and skipping the pressing part.