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Recipe: Fricassee of sweetbreads with asparagus


In a moment of Jane Austen-induced madness (blame the film Austenland or Joanna Trollope’s upcoming re-write of Sense And Sensibility), we’ve selected a period-inspired autumn dish. According to writer and chef Pen Vogler, this is “an old-fashioned supper fit for Mr Woodhouse and his guests.” Two hundred years ago, when Pride And Prejudice was written, such a supper would be taken in the drawing room, after dinner, at about 9pm. So make like the Regency set and get cooking.

Kcal: 586 per serving

Fat: 28.4g per serving

Sat Fat: 1.4g per serving

IngredIentS (ServeS Four):

  • 4 lamb sweetbreads (preferably stomach sweetbreads)
  • Flour, seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg
  • 100g white button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • Knob of butter
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Large bundle of asparagus (about 18 spears)
  • Small glass of white wine
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

Step 1: To prepare sweetbreads, soak in cold water for 2-3 hours, changing the water three or more times until they are white.

Step 2: Place them in a pan of fresh water, bring it to a boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove and place in iced water.

Step 3: Once cool, remove any visible gristle with your fingers.

Step 4: Dry the sweetbreads thoroughly, then slice them, coat in the seasoned flour and fry them until each side is crisp and golden. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Step 5: To the same pan, add the mushrooms, spring onion and knob of butter, and cook over medium heat for a few minutes.

Step 6: Meanwhile, steam or boil the asparagus lightly. Add the wine to the mushroom pan, let it boil, and reduce for a minute. Add salt, pepper and parsley to taste.

Step 7: Return sweetbreads to the pan briefly. Serve mixture with the asparagus and a squeeze of lemon.

From Dinner With Mr Darcy by Pen Vogler (£16.99 hardback, CICO Books), available from 10 October



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