Sweetbreads with Chamomile, Morels, Peas, and Fava Beans
The flowery flavor of chamomile is a good match for the delicate taste of sweetbreads, which are braised with morels and finished with peas and fava beans.
- Lamb Sweetbreads - 2 lobes (1 lb each)
- Chamomile - 12 fresh sprigs, plus more for garnish
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Flour - 3 tablespoons
- Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
- Vidalia Onion - 1, quartered and sliced 1/4-inch-thick
- Celery Stalks - 2, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
- Garlic - 2 tablespoons, minced
- Baby Carrots - 16
- Morel Mushrooms - 24, split lengthwise if large
- Dry White Vermouth - 1/4 cup
- Vegetable Stock - 1 cup (alt. chicken stock)
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Peas - 1 cup, blanched
- Fava Beans - 1 cup, blanched and peeled
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
Rinse the sweetbreads in cold water, then soak in several changes of cold water for 2 hours. Carefully pull off the filament and soak the sweetbreads again for 2 hours in several changes of cold water with 1 tablespoon vinegar added. Peel off any more filament. Separate the two lobes. Cut off and discard the connecting tube.
Using the rod of a knife-sharpening steel or the blade of a thin-bladed knife, make one hole lengthwise on either side of each sweetbread lobe. Stuff the holes with 10 chamomile sprigs, reserving the remaining two sprigs. Season the sweetbreads with salt and pepper on both sides. Lightly dust the sweetbreads with flour.
In a large heavy pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the sweetbreads and brown on both sides for a total of 4 to 6 minutes. Add the onion, celery, garlic, carrots, and two reserved chamomile sprigs.
Lightly salt and pepper the vegetables, then add the morels. Add the vermouth and cook over high heat until the liquid evaporates, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add the stock and water, then cover the pan tightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes.
Remove the sweetbreads from the pan. Remove the chamomile sprigs from the pan and from the sweetbreads. Increase the heat to medium and add the peas and fava beans to the pan juice and vegetables. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, then swirl in the butter.
To serve: Slice the sweetbreads and arrange the slices down the center of the plates. Spoon the warm vegetables and juice over the sweetbreads. Garnish with chamomile sprigs.