Sweetbreads, or Ris de Veau, with Madeira Mushroom Sauce

While the etymology of the name is unclear, these sweetbreads are sure to tempt any discerning palate.

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2 to 3 sweetbreads, depending on size
1 onion, peeled and rough chopped
1 carrot, peeled and rough chopped
2 pieces celery, rough chopped
2 branches thyme
1 fresh bay leaf
2 oz white wine

4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
8 oz butter
4 oz milk

2 oz cooking oil
2 oz butter
1 large shallot, peeled and sliced
12 button mushrooms, sliced
4 oz Madeira wine
4 oz veal demi glace (I recommend you buy it or charm the Chef at your local Left Bank)
seasoned flour to dredge the sweetbreads


First soak the sweetbreads in ice water for about 15 minutes, discarding the water after.
Place in a pot with all the prep ingredients and enough cold water to cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes until tender.
Remove sweetbreads from pot when tender, let cool, and break down in smaller pieces, discarding any membranes and tubes.
While the sweetbreads are cooking, make the mashed potatoes.  Put the potatoes in salted cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer until tender but not soggy with water.
Bring the milk to a boil with 4 oz of butter.
Rice the potatoes with the other 4 oz of raw butter.  Then start adding the milk mixture with salt and white pepper. Depending on the potatoes you may need a bit less or more milk.


Dredge the sweetbreads in seasoned flour, shaking the extra flour off.
Place in a warm frying pan with oil; do not shake the pan, and let them get some color on one side (don’t use too high of heat).
Add the butter and the shallot, then turn them over and add the mushrooms.
When almost done, turn heat up all the way and add the Madeira.  Let the alcohol burn; if you have an electrical stove you can use a match to get the dramatic effect of the flambé.
When the flames die down add the veal demi glace.
Spoon over the mashed potatoes and place in the oven for a few minutes before serving.