Pan-fried Sweetbreads, Pea Purée, Shallots & Asparagus

by Sean Hope

Starter Medium ​​​​​​​ 4 ​​​​​​​ Prep/Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes


12 lamb sweetbreads, small

2 tbsp of seasoned flour

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 sprig of rosemary

1 knob of unsalted butter

2 tbsp of rapeseed oil

1 dash of sherry vinegar


black pepper

200g of fresh peas, podded

70ml of whipping cream

20g of unsalted butter


black pepper

8 asparagus spears

2 knobs of butter, melted


black pepper

4 shallots, preferably Vigarmor, peeled

2 tbsp of rapeseed oil, plus extra for frying

1 sprig of thyme

1 tbsp of sherry vinegar

lemon zest, 1 x 1cm piece

1 tsp honey

1 handful of fresh peas

1 knob of butter

1 handful of pea shoots



1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 sprig of rosemary

lemongrass, 1 x 1cm piece

300ml of lamb stock, brown

100ml of Madeira

100ml of reduced beef stock

olive oil

pea shoots


1. To start the dish, make the lamb sauce. Add a drizzle of oil to a frying pan and fry off the shallot and garlic. Add the rosemary, lemongrass and stocks, bring to the boil and reduce by half. Pass through a fine sieve then add the Madeira to refresh the sauce. Set aside until ready to serve

2. For the confit shallots, place the shallots into a vacuum pouch with the rest of the ingredients. Seal on full vacuum and place in a preheated water bath at 85°C. Cook for 45 minutes

3. Once cooked, remove the shallots from the vacuum pouch and allow to drain. Set aside for frying later

4. To prepare the sweetbreads, heat up a pan of water to a rolling boil. Blanch the fresh sweetbreads for 30 seconds, then refresh in iced water to halt the cooking process

5. Strain, pat dry, then carefully peel away the outer membrane and remove any sinew. Set aside for frying later

6. For the pea purée, pod the peas and blanch for 2 minutes in boiling salted water. Heat the cream and butter in a saucepan, then add to the peas and blend to a smooth purée. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm

7. To cook the sweetbreads, place a frying pan over a medium heat and add the rapeseed oil. Lightly dust the sweetbreads with the seasoned flour then carefully add to the pan. Add the garlic, rosemary and butter and evenly colour the sweetbreads until light golden brown - cooking for approximately 4 minutes on each side

8. Once the sweetbreads are cooked, deglaze the pan with a splash of sherry vinegar and season

9. Pat the confit shallots dry with some kitchen paper, cut in half lengthways then sear in a hot frying pan with a drizzle of rapeseed oil until golden brown

10. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the asparagus spears for 3 minutes. Remove from the pan, cut in half lengthways, brush with melted butter and season with black pepper

11. For the fresh peas, pod the peas and blanch for 3 minutes in salted boiling water. Strain, add a knob of butter and season with salt and pepper. Reheat the lamb sauce

12. To serve, spoon some pea purée down the middle of each plate to create nice green strips. Top with the lamb sweetbreads, then arrange the asparagus halves over and around the sweetbreads

13. Scatter around some peas and pea shoots, add a couple of shallot halves and finally, spoon over the lamb sauce and some of the deglazed juices from the sweetbreads pan