Lamb's sweetbreads with herb sauce

Serves 4 as a starter
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Lamb's sweetbreads are one of my favourite foods. I know that quite a lot of you are probably turning your noses up as you are reading this but do give them a try: they are good value and have such a neutral flavour compared to other offal, though you may need to order them from your butcher in advance.

You could also serve this as a main course with some buttery mash, just by doubling the quantity of ingredients.

400g lamb's sweetbreads
A couple of good knobs of butter
A handful of wild garlic leaves (optional)

For the sauce

A good knob of butter
2 medium shallots, peeled, halved and finely chopped 1tsp flour
2tbsp medium white wine
250ml chicken stock
250ml double cream
2tbsp chopped herb leaves (parsley, chervil, tarragon)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Soak the sweetbreads in a bowl of cold water for about 1 hour then drain, place in a pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes then drain and leave to cool. Trim any sinew from the sweetbreads and cut in half, if large. Meanwhile, gently cook the shallots in the butter for a minute without colouring, then stir in the flour and mix well. Next, gradually stir in the wine and stock, a little at a time to avoid lumps forming. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 10 minutes then add the cream and continue simmering until it has reduced by about half and thickened.

While the sauce is cooking, season the sweetbreads, heat the butter in the pan until foaming and cook the sweetbreads for 3-4 minutes, turning them every so often until lightly coloured then remove and drain on some kitchen paper. Add the sweetbreads and wild garlic leaves and simmer for another 2-3 minutes and re-season if necessary.

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