If you’re interested in adding organ meats into your diet but still feel a little intimidated by the idea, sweetbreads might be the introduction you’ve been looking for. They don’t have the strong, irony flavor associated with most organ meats. They taste pretty similar to chicken when breaded and sautéed or fried. Sweetbreads do require some preparation the day before to become a delicious meal, but the results are well worth it. Sweetbreads are considered a delicacy in many cultures, and here in America can most often be found in high end restaurants. They are rich, tender and succulent and pair well with sauces.
What Are Sweetbreads, Anyways? (They’re Not Cinnamon Rolls)
With a name like sweetbreads, you’re probably wondering exactly what part of the animal this is referring to. Sweetbreads are actually the thymus gland, and the name comes from their succulent flavor and texture along with the Old English word for meat. They’re rich with minerals, healthy fats and fat soluble vitamins. One of the best things about sweetbreads is they’re pretty much impossible to overcook. Their texture will stay smooth and tender, unlike other more sensitive cuts of meat.
As with all organ meats, it’s especially important to make sure that sweetbreads come from healthy animals that were ethically raised. When animals are exposed to toxins, they accumulate far more heavily in the organs and bones than any other part of the body. The organs of animals who live stressful lifestyles are far different than when they live stress free lives the way nature intended. The organs we offer come from our pasture raised bison and beef. These animals are raised on thousands of acres and never exposed to hormones, steroids or antibiotics of any kind.
A Little Preparation Goes A Long Way
To prepare the sweetbreads, you’ll need to soak them in filtered water with a splash of vinegar for two hours or more (longer is fine, but two should do the trick). Change the water out a couple times while they’re soaking, as this process is removing blood and impurities from the meat. When they’re finished soaking, rinse the sweetbreads and put them in a saucepan with water or bone broth and a generous dash of salt. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. When the sweetbreads have cooled enough to handle, use a sharp knife to carefully remove any membranes, tissues or fat. Cover the prepared sweetbreads with a layer of parchment paper and flatten them out overnight in the refrigerator by placing a cookie sheet on top. Your sweetbreads will be ready the next day for cooking.
- 2 pounds sweetbreads, prepared as detailed above
- 1 cup flour
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup Japanese panko breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tablespoons pasture raised butter
- 3 tablespoons bison tallow
- Create a dredging station using three bowls. In the first bowl, mix together the flour, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. In the second bowl, the three lightly beaten eggs, and in the third bowl the panko breadcrumbs mixed with the fresh thyme leaves.
- Coat the slices of sweetbreads in the flour mixture first, gently shaking off the excess. Then dip them in the egg wash, and finally coat them in a layer of breadcrumbs.
- Heat butter and bison tallow in a large cast iron skillet. When hot, add in the slices of sweetbreads, working in batches. Sauté on both sides and set aside the cooked sweetbreads on a platter, covered to keep warm (or in a warm oven).
- Serve and enjoy!
Don’t Hesitate To Reach Out To Our Team
At Beck & Bulow, we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. We’re always here to help if you have any questions regarding your meat, want help making selections, or are just looking for some cooking tips. Every time you call our office, you’ll be directly connected with one of our team members right here in Santa Fe, New Mexico where we’re based.
Every cut of meat is pressure sealed and flash frozen immediately after butchering at the peak of freshness. We work exclusively with master butchers who make every cut with care and precision. All orders are hand packed at our Santa Fe warehouse, shipped in a reusable cooler with dry ice and delivered straight to your doorstep. Check out our selections of humanely raised elk, bison, grass fed beef, lamb, wild boar, poultry and wild caught Alaskan seafood.