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Salt and pepper veal sweetbreads

"I'd love to recreate Master's sweetbreads."
Karl Davies, Collaroy, NSW

To request a recipe, email or send us a message via  Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

You'll need

30 gm fine sea salt 300 gm veal sweetbreads (see note) 50 gm (1/3 cup) each plain flour and rice flour For deep-frying: sunflower or grapeseed oil 8 spring onions (white and pale green parts only) 20 (8gm) dried birdseye chillies 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced diagonally 10 gm ginger, thinly sliced 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced 30 gm unsalted butter To serve: chilli sauce (preferably Koon Yick Wah Kee)   Court bouillon 1 lemon, halved 1 onion, halved ½ each carrot and celery stalk, coarsely chopped 6 parsley stalks 5 black peppercorns 5 thyme sprigs   Salt and pepper mix 1 tsp each fine salt and chicken booster or chicken stock powder ½ tsp each freshly cracked black pepper and freshly ground Sichuan pepper ¼ tsp chilli powder


  • 01
  • Stir salt and 300ml water in a large saucepan over high heat until salt dissolves (1-2 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and cool over ice (8-10 minutes), then combine in a container with sweetbreads and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse and pat sweetbreads dry with paper towels.
  • 02
  • For court bouillon, bring ingredients and 2½ litres water to the boil, then set aside to infuse for 1 hour. Strain, discarding solids, and return bouillon to saucepan and heat to 60C (5-6 minutes). Add sweetbreads, bring back to 60C, then turn heat to very low and maintain exact temperature for 1 hour, adding water if it rises above 60C. Drain, peel membranes off sweetbreads and separate them into 2cm-3cm pieces by pinching where sweetbread lobes naturally segment. Cover and refrigerate to chill.
  • 03
  • For salt and pepper mix, combine ingredients in a bowl.
  • 04
  • Dredge sweetbreads in combined flours, then place on a tray lined with baking paper, cover and refrigerate (at least 2 hours but preferably overnight) to dry.
  • 05
  • Heat oil in a deep saucepan to 180C. Dust sweetbreads in flours again, shaking off excess, then deep-fry in batches, turning gently, until golden brown (4-5 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper mix to taste.
  • 06
  • Heat a wok over high heat, add 2 tbsp oil and spring onions and fry on one side until golden (30 seconds to 1 minute), then add chilli, ginger and garlic and stir-fry until garlic starts to turn golden (30 seconds). Add sweetbreads and butter, and stir-fry until butter turns golden and starts to smell nutty (20-30 seconds). Drain and serve with chilli sauce.

Note Sweetbreads are available from select butchers and need to be ordered ahead. The restaurant cooks the sweetbreads sous-vide; we've adapted the recipe for home kitchens. Start this recipe at least a day ahead to brine the sweetbreads.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Dec 2015

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