Veal sweetbread and mushroom with cumin

Veal sweetbread and mushroom with cumin

Perfectly cooked sweetbreads are given a final lick of smoke over charcoal whilst being glazed with a glossy reduced stock, before being paired with maitake (or hen-of-the-woods) mushrooms in this deliciously wintry dish from Jonny Lake.
  • Cooking:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Begin by pickling the lingonberries, as this needs to be done 24 hours in advance. Place the berries in a small container. Add the water, vinegar and sugar to a pan and heat until the sugar dissolves, then leave to cool. Pour the pickle liquor over the berries, cover and leave to pickle for 24 hours. You will only need a few of the berries for this recipe, but they will keep indefinitely in the fridge
  2. Step 2

    To cook the sweet and sour blackcurrants, place half of the blackcurrants in a pan with the wine, vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds and powder and simmer until reduced by half. Add the remaining blackcurrants and the Dijon mustard, then continue to cook, stirring regularly, until thick and jammy. Season with salt and reserve in the fridge – you will only need 30g of this mixture for this recipe, but the amount of vinegar and sugar in the mixture means it will be well preserved and can be used in other dishes
  3. Step 3

    To brine the sweetbreads, place the water and salt in a pan and heat until the salt has dissolved. Chill completely, then submerge the sweetbreads in the brine for 2 hours
  4. Step 4

    While the sweetbreads brine, prepare the glaze and sauce. For the sauce, measure out 130g of the veal stock and add the toasted cumin powder and 30g of the blackcurrant mixture. Mix well and set aside to heat through before serving
  5. Step 5

    For the glaze, pour the remaining 200g of veal stock into a small pan and simmer until reduced by a third. Whisk in the butter and set aside
  6. Step 6

    After 2 hours of brining, rinse the sweetbreads under running cold water. Meanwhile, preheat a water bath to 65°C. Seal the sweetbreads in vacuum bags and cook for 2 hours, then transfer to ice water until completely cooled. Once cool, peel away any fat or membrane from the sweetbreads, then cut them in half or into large chunks. Store in the fridge on kitchen paper, turning occasionally, to allow the sides to dry out. If you don’t have a sous vide machine, then you can gently poach the sweetbreads until tender, but the sous vide method is the one Jonny uses
  7. Step 7

    You now have all the elements you need to begin finishing the dish. Make sure your sauce and glaze are both reheating over a low heat and preheat a griddle pan and ideally a charcoal grill
  8. Step 8

    Gently sauté the radicchio in a dash of Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar. Fry the maitake mushrooms in grapeseed oil until golden. Finish both the sweetbreads and the mushrooms on the charcoal grill, regularly brushing the sweetbreads with the glaze, until smoky and glistening
  9. Step 9

    To serve, place some radicchio on each plate with the sweetbreads on top, brushing them with a little extra glaze. Place the maitake mushrooms alongside, brushing them with some smoked olive oil, then sprinkle over toasted cumin seeds and salt. Finish the dish with the sauce and some pickled lingonberries