What is Sweetbread?
Sweetbread recipes are neither sweet nor a bread. It is actually the internal organs of young animals, frequently piglets, calves, or lambs. There are two basic types: one which uses belly organs, such as the stomach and heart, and the other that utilizes organs from the neck and throat.The history of sweetbread recipes dates back prior to supermarkets and butcher shops when families butchered and processed their own animals while wasting no meat. Sweetbread, with its smooth, velvety texture and mild flavor, was a particular delicacy that could be cooked in a variety of ways: boiled, fried, breaded, broiled, stewed, sautéed, poached, or grilled.
Today, sweetbread recipes are often used as an entrée, appetizer, salad ingredient, or sausage. Though its name may be misleading, it is a healthy, nutrient-rich meat with great versatility for a number of different recipes.
Sweetbread Recipes Tips
Because organ meats do not have the resilient texture of muscles, they can be delicate to work with and may fall apart easily. Most sweetbread is boiled (blanched) first - add salt, vinegar, or lemon juice to the water for a mild flavor. A thin skin may need to be removed after boiling. If the meat is fresh, soak it in cold water for several hours prior to boiling to remove any traces of blood and create a milder flavor.
Consider adding thin slices or small dices of vegetables to the meat to create a more balanced dish or serve with complementary sauces.