For a while now I’ve wanted to cook lamb sweetbreads in a puff pastry case, and here it is. This is a very flavorsome dish, but it’s best to ask a butcher to prepare the sweetbreads for you, which can be a bit fiddly. Serve two vol-au-vents per person for a generous portion with vegetables of your choice. Mine would be pan-fried zucchini or steamed spinach or red chard.
– PREPARATION TIME 15 minutes.
– COOKING TIME 25 minutes.
– 1 pound 2 ounces all-butter puff pastry dough, thawed if frozen.
– 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting.
– 1 egg, beaten.
– 10 ounces prepared lamb sweetbreads.
– 2½ tablespoons unsalted butter.
– 2 tablespoons olive oil.
– 1 tablespoon very fine dry bread crumbs.
– 10 ounces mixed wild or button mushrooms.
– 4½ tablespoons whipping cream.
– 1 tablespoon snipped chives.
– sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
– vegetables of your choice, such as pan-fried zucchini or steamed spinach or chard, to serve.
Step 2: While the pastry is baking, bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the sweetbreads and blanch them 1½ minutes, then drain, refresh in a bowl of ice water, pat dry and remove the skin. Cut the sweetbreads into large cubes. Toss in the flour to coat and tap off any excess.
Step 3: Melt half the butter with the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the sweetbreads and fry 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Add the bread crumbs and toss to combine, then cook 1 minute longer until the crumbs are crunchy. Drain the sweetbreads and bread crumbs on paper towels.
Step 4: When the vol-au-vent cases are baked, turn the oven down to 200°F. Lift off the middle top layer to of each vol-au-vent to make a hollow. Keep them warm in the oven, with the door ajar, while you finish the filling.
Step 5: Melt the remaining butter with the remaining oil in the cleaned skillet over medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the mushrooms and fry 1 to 2 minutes until they are soft. Add the cream and bring to a boil. After 2 to 3 minutes, when it starts to coat the mushrooms, add the cooked sweetbread mixture and the chives. Toss to combine all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture into the baked vol-au-vent cases and serve with your favorite vegetables.