Veal sweetbreads with remoulade

Veal sweetbreads with remoulade

Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin

I started cooking sweetbreads when I was first sous chef in Sydney and I fell in love with them. Most people shy away from eating them but they are wonderful if prepared well. They have a soft texture and nutty flavour. If you like lambs’ brains, then these are a step up.


Quantity Ingredient
500g veal sweetbreads
1 tablespoon good-quality dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
120g japanese panko breadcrumbs or fresh white breadcrumbs
125ml vegetable oil
100g salted butter
lemon wedges, to serve

Poaching liquor

Quantity Ingredient
375ml cold water
125ml white wine
1 onion
1 celery stalk
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4-5 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf

Celery remoulade

Quantity Ingredient
185g whole-egg mayonnaise
2 hard-boiled eggs
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar or white-wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 spring onion, white part only, chopped finely
1/2 bunch celery, stalks and leaves
1/2 bunch mint leaves
dash extra-virgin olive oil
lemon juice, to taste


  1. Soak your sweetbreads in plenty of cold water for at least 2 hours or, ideally, overnight.
  2. Drain the sweetbreads and combine with all the poaching liquor ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat and skim off any scum that appears on the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow the sweetbreads to steep for 10 minutes before removing them from the liquor.
  3. Remove the outer membrane from the sweetbreads, being careful not to pick at every little membrane, or you will be left with only small nuggets. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the celery remoulade. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the remoulade, except for the celery, mint, olive oil and lemon. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required. Slice the celery stalks finely and stir them into the mixture. Fold in the celery and mint leaves and dress with a dash of olive oil and lemon juice to taste. Set aside.
  5. Pat the sweetbreads dry, spread liberally with mustard and season with salt and pepper. Place the breadcrumbs into a large bowl and dip the sweetbreads in, turning to coat. Gently press to stick the crumbs to the sweetbreads.
  6. Heat half the oil and half the butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat until the butter is foaming. Carefully add the sweetbreads one at a time, cooking in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan. Allow the sweetbreads to brown on one side for 3–4 minutes, basting with the butter in the pan as they cook. Allow them to develop a nice golden crust before flipping over and cooking on the other side for another 3 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. Serve the sweetbreads with the remoulade and a wedge of fresh lemon.
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