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Cinnamon Roasted Veal Sweetbreads, Lettuce and Nut Brown Butter by Stephen McLaughlin, Head Chef at Andrew Fairlie @ Gleneagles

Posted on: January 25, 2011     |     1 comment

Cinnamon Roasted Veal Sweetbreads

  • 400g raw veal sweetbreads
  • 4 cinnamon sticks (soaked in warm water)
  • 30ml Rapeseed oil
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 15ml lemon juice


  1. Soak the sweetbreads in cold water for 24 hours, refreshing the water every 6 hours.
  2. Bring a suitable pan of generously salted water to a boil and add the sweetbreads. Return the water to a boil then simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove the sweetbread from the boiling water and plunge them into iced water for 10 minutes. Pat the sweetbreads dry and lay them onto a tray pressing them carefully under a 1kg weight for a few hours. Remove the weight and using a sharp knife peel away the outer membrane and any fat that is visible.
  4. Now trim the sweetbreads into two fist-shaped pieces, they don’t need to be identical
  5. Pat dry the cinnamon sticks and cut ‘cinnamon skewers.’ Push a couple of skewers through the sweetbreads so they are poking out either side.
  6. Season the sweetbreads with salt and pepper. In a heavy bottom pan heat the oil until almost smoking. Add the sweetbreads and carefully caramelise until evenly golden brown. This will take 7-8 minutes.
  7. When evenly coloured add 25g of butter and the garlic to the pan. Baste the sweetbreads a couple of times then put the pan and sweetbread into a preheated oven, 200°C for 5 minutes. Remove the sweetbread from the buttery juices, gently re-season and rest the sweetbread in a warm place for a few minutes.
  8. To make the sauce, tip the garlic and cooked butter from the pan. Add the remaining butter and cook gently until nut brown. Now add the lemon juice to the nutty butter, remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve.
  9. Check seasoning and keep warm until service.

Cos Lettuce two ways

  • Braised heart of lettuce
  • 1 Cos lettuce, outer leaves removed
  • 15ml Rapeseed oil
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1tbsp double cream
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Compressed Lettuce Leaves
  • Sherry & Walnut Vinaigrette
  • 25ml Chardonnay vinegar
  • 25ml Sherry vinegar
  • 110ml olive oil
  • 55ml walnut oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Bring the butter, cream and stock to a boil then emulsify with a hand blender. Keep warm until needed.
  2. Remove root from the heart of the lettuce. The leaves should now easily fall into individual pieces.
  3. Wash the leaves in cold water. Shake any excess water from the leaves. Do not spin dry as a few drops remaining on the leaves will help them cook.
  4. Heat the rapeseed oil in a sauteuse and add the lettuce leaves, cook as you would for wilting spinach. Now add a couple of tbsp of butter and stock emulsion. Cover with a cartouche, reduce the heat and cook until lettuce is tender. Check the seasoning and keep warm until needed.
  5. Dissolve a pinch of salt and 2 twists of pepper into the vinegars then slowly whisk in the oils. This will keep in an airtight container for a number of weeks.
  6. Trim the outer leaves to the required shapes, drizzle with a little vinaigrette.
  7. Put the lettuce in a vac-pac bag and compress on full power. Keep the leaves in the bag for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the leaves and serve at once.

Comments (1)

  • Posted on 20 Jul 2011 by Gill Skene user avatar image

    Sounds delicious!

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