CHANCES are you've heard them mentioned on shows such as MasterChef.
But if you've ever been confused as to what sweetbreads actually are, here's the lowdown.
What are sweetbreads and what are they made from?
Sweetbreads are offal – offal is organ meat and sweetbreads come from the thymus gland and pancreas.
They are most commonly from veal or lamb, but beef and pork sweetbreads can also be found.
The texture is found to be smooth and tender, while the flavor is subtle and almost creamy.
Actually, sweetbreads do not taste like you’re eating offal— meaning not “musty” flavored.
“For those of you who have never eaten brain, liver or any kind of offal, sweetbreads are the best place to start,” huffpost.com reported.
“Think of them as the gateway drug for offal. They taste SO GOOD.”
Where can you buy sweetbreads and what recipes are they used in?
You can usually buy sweetbreads from your local butchers, but certain online food retailers also sell them
Fine Food Specialist sell 600g of fresh veal sweetbreads for £44.
Sweetbreads can be grilled, braised, seared or fried – with deep frying being a popular way of serving them.
They cook quickly and many recipes serve the sweetbreads with an acidic dressing, such as lemon.
Before attempting to cook sweetbreads, it's advisable to soak them in water, salt water, or vinegar in advance to remove any impurities and enable sinew to be removed easily.
Jason Atherton has a recipe for roasted sweetbreads, served in a risotto and Matt Tebbut cooks up his, sauteed and served with an Asian-inspired sauce of coriander, chilli and lime.
Where can you get sweetbread?
You can make them in your own kitchen, although it does take some effort to find the meat, remove the membrane and ensuring a tender result.
Or, you could go out and eat it.
Sweetbreads are found at many restaurants, especially at places serving Argentine cuisine.
Where does the name come from?
The name is quite misleading.
Sweetbreads are not sweet and they are not bread.
The name is based on two glands usually harvested from calves or lambs: the thymus, near the throat and pancreas near the stomach.
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