Sweetbread with Truffle and Madeira

Fall and Winter

Right! Let’s spend some money! This is a delicious, expensive and special dish. It combines the delicate taste of sweetbread with the deepness and earthly taste of truffle and the warmth of Madeira. Taste it, close your eyes and enjoy the flavours and the texture of the sweetbread.
We don’t agree with covering sweetbread with flour, egg yolks and what have you before frying them. We’re not talking Wiener Schnitzel! Just use your non-sticky skillet and a bit of butter for a beautiful result. The sweetbread should of course be hot on the outside, brown on the outside, but also soft of the inside a crispy on the outside. We will show you how to create a great starter or main dish.
Buying the Truffle Carpaccio and Jus de Truffes could be a challenge. Both are produced by Urbani Tartufi.
Madeira is not some sweet, sticky wine in a small bottle. The original is fruity, dry and something completely different. For the sauce you can use the small-bottle-Madeira, but be careful because of its sweetness.

We suggest to drink a nice Viognier or a gentle Chardonnay (not too woody) with the sweetbread. You could even try a Gewürztraminer, which would connect nicely to the sweetness of the Madeira and the shallot. And if you happen to have really good, dry Madeira, give us a call and we will join you!

Here is what you need:

  • 300 gram of sweetbread
  • Bay leaf
  • Black pepper (crunched)
  • Summer Truffle Carpaccio (if not available add some of the fresh truffle)
  • 10 gram Truffle (preferably winter truffle, but 20 gram of summer truffle will also do the job)
  • 30 ml Jus de Truffes
  • Some Madeira
  • Veal stock
  • Shallot
  • Butter

Start by filling a big pan with water. Add the crunched pepper and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Now add the sweetbread and make sure the water remains close to boiling. Blanch the sweetbread for let’s say 3 – 5 minutes, depending on the size and shape of the sweetbread.
Transfer the sweetbread to a large bowl with ice-cold water and cool the meat as quickly as possible.
Now it’s time to clean the sweetbread. Remove the bits of fat, the fleeces, any membrane, the veins and anything else you don’t like. Best way to do this is with your hands and a very sharp small knife. Once your sweetbread is clean, you will be able to see how to slice it later on. But first put it on a flat plate, seal it with plastic foil, put a similar flat plate on top of it and put something heavy on top of the plate. Transfer to the fridge and leave it for a few hours. The idea is twofold: on the one hand the sweetbread will be firm and easy to cut into good slices. And it will lose some water (or whatever is in sweetbread) because of the weight.
With the sweetbread in the fridge it’s time to think about your sauce. Cut the shallot in small bits and glaze in butter. Don’t fry, just glaze. Add the summer Truffle Carpaccio (or a bit of fresh truffle, depending on your budget), the veal stock and the Madeira. Mix and reduce. Transfer to blender and mix. Pass through a small sieve and heat what is the beginning of your sauce. After a few minutes add the Jus de Truffes. This is an essential ingredient because it brings volume and depth to the sauce. It’s not to be confused with Truffle Oil, which in most cases is some kind of horrendous chemical invention. Taste and perhaps add some more Madeira or stock. A pinch of pepper may also be helpful. Keep warm for 5 or 10 minutes, stirring regularly. You will notice that the sauce becomes more intense and mature, which is exactly what you want.
In parallel you will have cut 2-3 cm thick slices of sweetbread. Fry them for 5 minutes or so in a very warm (but not hot), non-sticky skillet with butter. It’s simple: when the sweetbread is golden and beautiful they are ready to be served. If in doubt: there is bound to be a small slice, one that you can use to test. Remember it’s offal, so you don’t want to take a risk.
Take two warm plates, add sauce, carefully put the slices of sweetbread on the plate, and add very thin slices of truffle on top.