Braised Sweetbreads


  • 4 large whole sweetbreads
  • 2 cups fine mirepoix
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 2 cups chicken, beef, or veal stock
  • ½ cup dry white wine


Soak the sweetbreads in salty cold water for 2 hours, changing the water whenever it becomes bloody. Drain them and put them in a pot. Add cold water to cover them by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Drain, put them in a colander, cover with ice, and run cold water over them for 5 minutes.

Peel off most of the outer membrane, keeping the sweetbreads as intact as possible. Put them in a pan, put another pan or plate on top, and weight them with some cans or heavy jars. Let stand overnight or at least for several hours.

Heat the oven to 375°F.

Put the mirepoix, bay leaves, and thyme and parsley sprigs in a casserole just large enough to hold the sweetbreads side by side. Cover and cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Put the sweetbreads on the mirepoix, pour the stock and wine over the sweetbreads, and season them lightly. Turn the oven down to 325°F and bake covered for 45 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven.

Lift out the sweetbreads, brush off any mirepoix clinging to them, put them in a bowl, and strain the cooking liquid over them. Let cool in the liquid.