Veal and sweetbread meatballs with avgolemono

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  • 200 gm veal sweetbreads (see note)
  • 1 kg pig's caul fat (see note)
  • 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 300 gm day-old crustless white bread, coarsely chopped
  • 1 litre (4 cups) milk
  • 1 kg coarsely minced veal
  • 1 cup each finely chopped mint and finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 100 gm finely grated parmesan
  • 2 tsp finely grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup finely chopped coriander
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • To serve: micro-cress, such as baby silverbeet
  •  
  • Avgolemono
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 3 eggwhites
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) lemon juice
  • 4 egg yolks
01   Refrigerate sweetbreads and caul fat separately in cold water for 12 hours, changing the water at least twice. Drain sweetbreads, blanch in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Drain, refresh, then peel skin.
02   Heat butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add sweetbreads, reduce heat to medium and turn occasionally until just cooked through (6-8 minutes), then refrigerate until chilled (30 minutes).
03   Meanwhile, combine bread and milk in a bowl, stand until bread is just softened (30 seconds), drain and squeeze out excess milk (discard). Combine in a large bowl with minced veal, mint, parsley, parmesan and nutmeg, refrigerate until required.
04   Preheat oven to 200C. Finely chop sweetbreads, process half in a small food processor with coriander until smooth (1-2 minutes), season to taste. Add extra-virgin olive oil in a thin steady stream, process until emulsified. Transfer to a bowl, add remaining sweetbreads, mix well to combine.
05   Form minced veal mixture into eight flat patties. Place 1 tablespoon of sweetbread mixture in the middle of each patty and roll to enclose and form a ball. Drain caul fat, cut into 20cm squares and wrap each meatball completely to enclose.
06   Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, add meatballs in batches and turn, shaking pan occasionally, until golden all over (2-3 minutes), then roast in oven until cooked through (10-12 minutes).
07   Meanwhile, for avgolemeno, bring chicken stock to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Blend eggwhite and lemon juice in a blender. Whisk hot stock and egg yolks in a bowl to combine, then with motor running, add to eggwhite mixture. Turn off blender, season to taste, pour over hot meatballs and serve scattered with micro-cress.
Note Sweetbreads and caul fat are available from select butchers and will need to be ordered ahead.

This recipe is from the May 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

JONATHAN BARTHELMESS, THE APOLLO, SYDNEY

Photography:

WILLIAM MEPPEM

Styling:

EMMA KNOWLES

Drinking Suggestion:

CRISP CLEAN ROSÉ. , suggested by SAM CHRISTIE

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