Sweetbreads in brown butter with ravigote sauce

Ravigote sauce is a tangy dressing that offers the perfect counterbalance for the buttery sweetbreads, or indeed any rich meat, such as thinly sliced crumbed veal pan-fried in the brown butter. Start this recipe at least six hours ahead to press the sweetbreads.

You'll need

2 tsp white vinegar 1 kg veal sweetbreads (see note) 120 gm chilled unsalted butter, diced Seasoned plain flour, for dusting Toasted sourdough bread, to serve   Ravigote sauce 60 ml (¼ cup) chardonnay vinegar 50 gm cornichons, finely chopped 2 golden shallots, finely chopped 1½ tbsp salted capers, rinsed and drained 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped ½ cup (loosely packed) chervil, finely chopped ¼ cup finely chopped chives 1½ tsp Dijon mustard 2-3 tbsp olive oil


  • 01
  • Bring white vinegar and 2 litres of water to a simmer over medium heat. Add sweetbreads and gently poach until they turn opaque (10-12 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a tray lined with baking paper, pat dry and cool (20 minutes). Place another tray on top of sweetbreads, weigh down with food cans, then refrigerate until cooled and firm (at least 6 hours or overnight). Peel off skin, and trim off sinew and blood. Break into walnut-sized pieces and refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • For ravigote sauce, combine ingredients in a bowl, adding just enough olive oil to combine to your liking and season to taste.
  • 03
  • Heat half the butter in a large frying pan until foaming. Toss half the sweetbreads in flour to coat, shake off excess, then add to pan and fry until golden and crisp (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a plate and spoon butter over sweetbreads. Wipe pan clean with paper towels and repeat with remaining ingredients. Season to taste, spoon onto toast, top with ravigote sauce, sprinkle with sea salt flakes and serve.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Additional Notes

Sweetbreads, thymus and pancreas glands, will need to be ordered ahead from a butcher.

Drink Suggestion

Nutty amontillado sherry

Featured in

July 2017

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