Golden Sweetbreads

Alex Mackay serves golden fried sweetbreads with a creamy sauce of morels and crayfish
By Alex Mackay
Golden Sweetbreads
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 20 large freshwater crayfish, cooked, tails peeled, heads removed and set aside
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 3 tbsp cognac
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 4 x180-200g veal sweetbreads, (from the pancreas and absolutely not the throat)
  • 180 g butter
  • 20 fresh morel mushrooms
  • 1 small bunch chervil, leaves picked and chopped


1. Gently fry the crayfish heads in the groundnut oil for 1 minute, then add the tomato paste and fry for another 30 seconds. Pour in the white wine and 2 tablespoons of the cognac and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer briskly for 15 minutes. Strain the crayfish stock, return to the heat and reduce by half, then stir in the crème fraiche and set aside.

2. Rinse the sweetbreads under cold running water until the water runs clear. Poach the sweetbreads in well-salted, just simmering water for 4 minutes. Refresh in iced water and peel the exterior membrane from the sweetbreads.

3. Heat 60g of the butter in a frying pan just large enough to hold the sweetbreads. When it begins to sizzle, add the sweetbreads and fry over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side, basting occasionally, until golden brown.

4. While the sweetbreads are cooking, gently fry the morels in 60g of the butter for 2-3 minutes, then add 1 tablespoon of cognac and the crayfish tails. Turn down the heat, warm through for 1 minute and add the chopped chervil.

5. Whisk the remaining butter into the sauce and season, spoon onto four plates, pop the sweetbreads on top and surround with the morels and crayfish. Serve with very buttery mashed potatoes.

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