Deep-fried spiced sweetbreads with sauce gribiche

Deep-fried spiced sweetbreads with sauce gribiche

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
350g veal sweetbreads
200ml buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
100g plain flour, to dust
2 eggs, beaten
150g panko or fresh white breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
freshly ground black pepper
gribiche sauce, to serve (see note)


  1. Prepare the sweetbreads and cut them into 2.5 cm chunks. Place in a bowl, add the buttermilk and leave to soak for 1 hour.
  2. Drain the sweetbreads well and pat dry with kitchen paper, discarding the buttermilk. Heat the oven to 120°C.
  3. Add the cayenne and paprika with some salt and pepper to the flour. Dust the sweetbreads in the seasoned flour, gently shaking off the excess, then dip them in the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumbs, to give an even coating. Place them on a wire rack set over a tray and place in the fridge as the oil heats.
  4. Fill a deep, heavy saucepan one-third full with oil and heat gently to 190°C, or until a small piece of bread browns in about 40 seconds. Deep-fry the sweatbreads in batches, 3 or 4 pieces at a time for 3–5 minutes, depending on size, until golden and crisp. Test one to ensure it is cooked and hot through the centre to give you a guide as to the cooking time.
  5. Remove the sweetbreads and drain on a tray lined with kitchen paper. Sprinkle very lightly with salt. Keep them warm in the low oven with the door ajar while you fry the remaining batches.
  6. Divide the fried sweetbreads between 4 plates and serve with a spoonful of gribiche sauce.


  • Sweatbreads with celeriac and apple rémoulade: This piquant salad makes a good alternative to gribiche sauce.


  • To make the sauce gribiche, soft-boil two eggs and separate the yolks and whites once cooled. Put the soft-cooked yolks (reserve the whites) into a medium, fairly deep bowl and put a pinch of salt and a pinch of English mustard powder on top of the yolks. Using a wooden spoon, mix the egg yolks and seasoning together. Hold a fork with your other hand, dip it into 300 ml sunflower oil and then drip the oil onto the egg yolks, while stirring the yolks at the same time. Add a third of the oil in this way.

    Once a third of the oil has been added and the emulsion created, start adding the oil 1⁄4 teaspoon at a time, still stirring as you add it. Then progress to 1⁄2 teaspoon oil at a time. If the mayonnaise becomes very thick and looks greasy, add 1⁄4–1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice, wine vinegar or warm water, depending on whether you think the mayonnaise needs acidity or not. This will make it less greasy, thin it and help it to absorb more oil.

    Once half to two-thirds of the oil has been added, add the rest slowly in a thin stream and keep stirring. Try to incorporate all of the oil to balance the egg flavour. Taste the sauce and season with salt and white pepper, and add lemon juice or wine vinegar as needed to balance the oil and acidity.

    Finely chop the reserved cooked egg white and add to the finished mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon each of finely chopped capers and shallots and 1–2 tablespoons chopped tarragon, chives, parsley or chervil, or a mixture. If you are not using it immediately, cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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