Timbale of Sweatbreads and Macaroni

Timbale of Sweatbreads and Macaroni


  • 1/2 pound (1/4 kg) long macaroni
  • 2 pounds (1 kg) sweetbreads, soaked in cold water for 1 hour, blanched for 2
  • minutes in boiling water, drained, plunged into cold water and trimmed
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) white wine
  • 2 cups (1/2 liter) gelatinous veal stock
  • 3 or 4 large fresh black truffles, sliced
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) butter
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
  • 1/2 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) thyme
  • 1 large chicken breast, skin, fat and tendons removed, chopped
  • 1 egg white
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup (300 ml) heavy cream, chilled


Place the sweatbreads side-by-side on a dishcloth; place another dishcloth on top of them. Put a cutting board on top and set on that a 2 lb (1 kg) weigh (like a can or two of something). Leave for a couple hours. Make the mirepoix: melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add carrots, onions, butter, bay and thyme and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring often. Do not let the mirepoix brown. Spread mirepoix in the bottom of a heavy casserole. Pour in the white wine and over high heat (watching carefully to not allow to burn) reduce the wine almost completely, shaking constantly. Place sweetbreads side-by-side on top of the mirepoix. Add the stock, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Braise sweetbreads for 40 minutes. Remove sweetbreads and slice them. Press cooking liquid through a fine sieve. Pour sauce over sweetbreads. Cool and stir in truffles. Cook macaroni untl al dente. Remove from heat but let macaroni sit in hot water for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Drain but do not rinse. Set strands side-by-side on a dishtowel, not allowing them to touch. Generously butter a 2 quart (2 liter) dome mold (timbale mold) or dome-shaped metal mixing bowl. Coil a strand of macaroni into a disk, flatten it and set it at the center point of the mold. Continue lining the mold by spiralling strands of macaroni around this in a tight spiral until mold is completely lined. Refrigerate. Cut remaining macaroni into short lengths and stir it into the sweetbreads. To make the forcemeat mousseline: pound the chicken breast in a mortar until pureed. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Gradually pound in egg white. Force mixture a tablespoon at a time through a fine meshed nylon drum sieve, removing any debris after each passage. Pack into bowl, press plastic wrap over and refrigerate for an hour. Before using, beat in the cream, a little at a time. Remove macaroni mold from refrigerator. Spread 3/4s of the forcemeat evenly over the entire surface. Fill the mold with the sweetbread mixture, pressing gently so as to leave no air pockets. Spread remaining mousseline over surface. Press a circle of buttered wax paper over the surface and poach mold set on a trivet in a bain-marie in a preheated 325F (160C) oven for 45 minutes. The water should reach about 3/4s up the side of the mold. Allow timbale to settle for 10 minutes before unmolding. Cut into pie-like wedges to serve.

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