Suckling Veal Sweetbreads “à la Crécy”

Credit: Didier Loire
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Step 1: Sweetbreads

Blanch the sweetbreads very quickly so they do not actually begin to cook. Cool over ice and place a weight on them for 3 hours.

Slice 2 nicely sized slices, about 3/4 ounce (220 g) each, from the sweetbreads. Cut them into an oval shape and dice the remaining trimmings into small cubes, 1/5 inch (5 mm) per side.

Season the sweetbreads with salt before searing them in frothy butter in a copper sauté pan. Place the sweetbreads on a rack in a cool place. Add the onions, carrots and garlic to the pan, and sweat until brown.

Put the sweetbreads back into the sauté pan on top of the vegetables, moisten with the veal and orange juices, and braise in the oven. Baste the sweetbreads frequently with their cooking juices to glaze.

When cooked, take the sweetbreads out of the oven and place them on a rack in a warm spot.

Remove the vegetables and bring the braising stock to the desired consistency—it should be slightly syrupy. Filter the sauce through a tea strainer. Do not skim off the fat. Season to taste.

Step 2: Vegetables

Trim and peel the carrots, making sure they keep their initial shape. Wash in a pan of cold water and slice into 24 bias-cut segments, 1/4 inch (7 mm) thick.

Sauté these carrot segments in some olive oil in a cast iron pot over a high heat. Season with fleur de sel. Cover and finish cooking in a 390°F (200°C) oven until the carrots are very tender, then caramelize them in their own cooking juices.

Clean the chanterelle stems and cut off the bottom of each. Wash the mushrooms, drain on a perforated sheet pan and sear in a hot sauté pan in the chicken fat so that they give off their liquid. Drain again, then brown in a bit of butter and season with freshly ground pepper.

Peel the pearl onions and trim them, removing one or several layers so that they are all identical in size and shape. Season with fleur de sel and begin cooking, sautéing them in some olive oil in a cast iron pot over a high heat. Cover and finish cooking in a 390°F (200°C) oven, until they are tender. When cooked, caramelize the pearl onions in their own cooking juices, along with a dab of butter.

Place all of the vegetables—the onions, carrots and chanterelles—into the same pot and caramelize in a spoonful of braising stock from the sweetbreads. Season to taste.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits

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