What are lamb sweetbreads? Neither sweet, or bread, these are a delicately flavored organ meat that comes from young animals like lamb. The inside texture is smooth and tender with a delicious, mellow flavor.
They are prized by chefs as the ultimate organ meat and can be prepared by sauteing, braising, poaching, grilling, frying, or even roasting. The outside crisps up easily. They can be featured in hot or cold appetizers, stews, salads, pates, and sausages.
Farmer’s Note: Our grass-fed lamb sweetbreads require advanced notice to purchase. If you’d like to try some, or you’ve been looking for them and can’t find them, you’ve come to the right place-send us a message and we can get some working for you.
This recipe is by chef Ben Spangler. Hailing from Minnesota, Ben draws from his Midwestern roots to create dishes that are unpretentious and delicious. Ben has competed on national television for the Food Network and appeared on local Minneapolis food networks. He is currently executive chef at Mercy in Minneapolis.
8 oz Kale
4 oz Diced onions
4 oz Carrots
1 oz Anchovies
1 oz Butter
2 ea Lemon zest
2 ea Bay leaves
1 oz Parsley leaves
1 oz Cheese
4 ea Garlic
2 oz Bundle of a small handful of Italian parsley and 5 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with cheesecloth
3 cups chicken stock or water
1 oz Italian parsley, to garnish.
- Prep the sweetbreads by soaking in cold water or milk overnight.
- Blanch the sweetbreads in simmering, lightly salted water for 10 minutes, then shock in ice water. This will make it easier to remove any tough membranes on the outer skin. Remove any tough outer membranes and skin, the sweetbreads will break apart into smaller, morsel-sized pieces of meat.
- In a medium sauté pan melt 1 Tablespoon of butter and sauté the onions for a few minutes.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add bay leaves, anchovies and herb bundle.
- Cook 1 min then briefly add carrots and kale. Pour 3 cups of stock over the mixture, cover, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
- Heat a separate pot of lightly salted water, and cook a pasta such as corzetti (A stamped Ligurian pasta), or use your favorite.
- Try to undercook the pasta by a minute or two as it will finish cooking in the sauce.
- Add good pinch of chopped parsley to the pan with the kale and carrots.
Finish & Serve
- Meanwhile, while pasta is cooking, toss the sweetbreads in flour and fry in grape seed oil until lightly brown.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter and lemon zest to pasta.
- Season the pasta with salt and pepper.
- Plate the pasta, then place fried sweetbreads on top & garnish with more chopped parsley.