Calf sweetbreads

Calf sweetbreads

The Beef Club
Cooking time
25 mins
Marie-Pierre Morel


Quantity Ingredient
4 calf sweetbreads
150ml Beef marrow stock in red wine, Beef stock only
or 150ml veal stock
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
15g butter
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

The vegetables

Quantity Ingredient
4 young carrots with leaves on
1/2 yellow beetroot
1/2 chioggia beetroot
2 small red beetroots
1 parsnip
4 small turnips with leaves on
4-5 spring onions
4 green asparagus spears
2 tablespoons olive oil
15g butter
fleur de sel

The gremolata

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 orange
1/2 bunch coriander
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Leave the calf sweetbreads to soak in cold water 48 hours in advance. Change the water several times a day; it should be clear at the end.
  2. Prepare the vegetables. Carefully wash and peel, if necessary, the carrots, beetroots, parsnip, turnips and onions, and cut the woody base off the asparagus spears. Cut the vegetables into chunks or batons, depending on their shape, of matching sizes. Keep the base of the leaves on the carrots and turnips.
  3. Cook each different vegetable separately by immersing them successively in boiling salted water for approximately 2–4 minutes, keeping them nice and firm. Each time, immerse the vegetables in iced water after draining, to halt the cooking process. Just before serving, brown all the vegetables in olive oil and butter for 2–3 minutes in a large sauté pan over a medium–high heat. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.
  4. Toast the sunflower seeds in a hot, dry frying pan, stirring constantly until slightly browned.
  5. Peel and segment the orange, removing the pith and inner skins. Cut the segments into small pieces. Chop the coriander and mix it with the sunflower seeds, salt and pepper. Thin out the mixture with a little oil, then add the orange pieces.
  6. Take the calf sweetbreads out of the soaking water and cook in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain, then immerse in iced water to cool. Fry the drained calf sweetbreads in the oil and butter over a fairly high heat just long enough to turn them golden (1–2 minutes each side).
  7. Add the beef stock, season and allow to reduce for 3–4 minutes.
  8. Serve the sweetbreads with their sauce, the vegetables, and the gremolata on top.
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