Sweetbreads in Spinach Sauce

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

Spinach gives colour and flavour to this sauce for lambs’ sweetbreads. In a recipe such as this one, where part hot stock and part cold milk are used for mixing the sauce, always stir in the hot liquid first; it blends in more readily and smoothly.


  • 675 g/ lb lambssweetbreads
  • 4 dl/¾ pint chicken stock


    Soak the sweetbreads for several hours in cold water, changing the water once or twice. This extracts the blood and helps keep the sweetbreads white. Rinse the sweetbreads and place in a saucepan. Cover with fresh cold salted water and bring up to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Draw off the heat, drain the sweetbreads and when cool enough to handle, remove all the loose fat, tissue and skin. Replace in the saucepan and add chicken stock to cover. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 45 minutes or until the sweetbreads are tender.

    Meanwhile, wash the spinach well and remove the coarse centre ribs from the leaves. When the sweetbreads are tender, drain and reserve the hot stock. Melt half the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook gently for a moment. Gradually beat in the hot stock and then the milk, stirring well all the time to get a smooth sauce. Bring up to the boil and simmer gently for 2–3 minutes.

    Sauté the spinach in the remaining butter over a gentle heat for about 8–10 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the prepared sauce and heat the spinach and sauce together for about 5 minutes. Pass the mixture through a sieve or vegetable mill and return to the saucepan. Stir in the cream, season with salt, plenty of pepper and the nutmeg. Pour the sauce over the sweetbreads, reheat to serve.