Grilled Sweetbreads with Mushroom Butter


There are many ways to serve grilled sweetbreads, but whatever the combination, they should not be sauced except with a butter, chutney, or salsa, or the wonderful crisp grilled exterior will become soggy and some of the nutty flavor will be lost.


  • 4 whole braised sweetbreads
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 ounce dried cèpes, morels, or Italian field mushrooms
  • 1 cup veal, beef, or chicken stock or sweetbread cooking liquid
  • ½ pound butter
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 small artichokes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 small new red potatoes
  • ½ cup red bell pepper puree
  • ¼ cup yellow bell pepper puree
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


Cook the sweetbreads. When they are cool, mix the thyme and olive oil and rub the sweetbreads with half the oil mixture. Let them marinate for 2 hours.

While the sweetbreads are marinating, simmer the mushrooms and stock for 15 minutes. Let stand for 30 minutes. Strain the mushrooms and set aside. Reduce the stock to about ¼ cup. Puree the stock and mushrooms in a food processor, add half the butter, and puree again until smooth. Season and let the mushroom butter sit at room temperature for 2 hours for the flavors to develop.

Start a charcoal fire or heat the broiler.

Trim the artichokes to the heart and cook with the lemon juice in salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and pour the remaining oil mixture over the hot artichokes. Season and set aside.

While the artichokes are cooking, put the potatoes in salted water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Toss with the artichokes.

Just before you are ready to cook the sweetbreads, heat the red puree in a saucepan, whisk in 6 tablespoons of the butter, and keep warm. Do not let it get too hot. Do the same with the yellow puree, whisking in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Grill the sweetbreads, turning once, over a medium fire until heated through and golden brown on the outside, about 20 minutes. Grill the artichokes and the potatoes over low heat on the side of the fire for the last 8 minutes.

Put the red butter sauce on warm plates. Put the sweetbreads in the center and drizzle the yellow sauce around them. Put the artichokes and potatoes on the yellow sauce and the mushroom butter on top of the sweetbreads. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.