Sweetbreads à la Crème

James Beard

Author and Educator

Since sweetbreads are among the most delicate of foods, they require subtle treatment. Many old recipes called for piquing or larding them, a process which in the days of haute cuisine made an enchanting-looking dish but is quite unnecessary today. Probably the oldest way of doing sweetbreads was creaming them. This version is a typical one from around the turn of the century, when cream sauces were much used in our cookery.


12 hors d'oeuvre


  • 1 pair sweetbreads
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups rich cream sauce
  • Patty shells or toast cases


Blanch and trim the sweetbreads and cut into small dice. Sauté the mushrooms and sweetbreads in butter for 4 to 5 minutes and combine with the rich cream sauce. Heat through and correct the seasoning. Spoon into hot patty shells or bread cases and garnish with tiny sprig of parsley.