Pan Roasted Sweetbreads with Ragu of Chanterelles, Potatoes and Bacon
Serves 4 as appetizer
3 slices thick-cut bacon, sliced into ¼-inch julienne
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 thyme sprigs
1 7-ounce veal thymus gland (sweetbreads), soaked in milk eight hours or overnight
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 shallots, thinly sliced in ¼-inch rings
3 par-cooked fingerling potatoes, sliced into ¼-inch coins
4 chanterelle mushrooms, ends removed, quartered
1 teaspoon naturally brewed soy sauce
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the bacon and ¼ cup water. Render the fat from the bacon until it's golden brown and the fat is released, about five minutes. Drain the fat to a heat-proof bowl, reserving it to make the ragú. Transfer the lardons to a paper towel-lined plate.
2. In a medium stock pot, add the chicken stock and the dried shiitakes, and one sprig of thyme. Simmer and reduce for 15 minutes or until reduced by sixty-five percent.
3. Have a large pot of water at a boil. Place the sweetbreads in the simmering water for 30 seconds. Transfer to an ice bath. Pat it dry and peel off the membrane off. Cut into four pieces, lightly season with salt and coat in all-purpose flour. Season with pepper
4. In a medium pan over medium-high heat, add two tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat and turn the heat down to medium. Add the floured pieces. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves. Add the remaining thyme sprig. Using a spoon baste the bacon fat over the sweetbreads.
5. Flip the sweetbreads once they've developed a golden brown crust, about four minutes. Cook on the second side for four more minutes. Add the shallots and potato coins and cook a minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until the vegetables are nicely colored, about five minutes. During the final minute, add back the reserved lardons. Transfer the sweetbreads to a plate. Add the soy sauce and a quarter to half a cup of the reduced stock. Add the cilantro leaves.
6. To plate, lay down a bed of the ragú and top with the sweetbreads. Spoon a little extra ragú on top of the sweetbreads and serve immediately.