Sweetbread are either the thymus (called gullet sweetbread) or the pancreas (belly sweetbread) of a young pig, lamb or calf.
Athough the two organs serve different functions, they look and cook much the same. They are normally soaked before use and typically fried, or used as addition to veal and ham pie.
Original Receipt in 'A New System Of Domestic Cookery' by 'A Lady' (Mrs. Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell) (Rundell 1807);
FRICASSEE OF LAMB-STONES AND SWEETBREADS, ANOTHER WAY.
Have ready some lamb-stones blanched, parboiled, and sliced. Flour two or three sweetbreads: if very thick, cut them in two. Fry all together, with a few large oysters, of a fine yellow brown. Pour the butter off, and add a pint of good gravy, some asparagus-tops about an inch long, a little nutmeg, pepper and salt, two shalots shred fine, and a glass of white wine. Simmer ten minutes; then put a little of the gravy to the yolks of three eggs well beaten, and by degrees mix the whole. Turn the gravy back into the pan, and stir it till of a fine thickness without boiling. Garnish with lemon.
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