Chicken-fried Veal Sweetbreads, Country Ham, Sage Waffles, and Bourbon Cream

Adapted by
June 2012
Yield: 24 servings


Veal Sweetbreads
1 liter smoked ham stock
1 pint buttermilk
30 milliliters Worcestershire sauce
10 milliliters hot sauce
Bourbon Cream
30 milliliters canola oil
50 grams shallot, diced
25 grams celery, diced
12 grams garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 bunch thyme
100 milliliters maple syrup
120 milliliters bourbon
½ liter ham stock, reserved from poached sweet breads
1 pint heavy cream
Apple-Green Tomato Relish
3 juniper berries, smashed with the back of a knife
6 black peppercorns, cracked
2 whole cloves
400 grams green tomatoes, diced large
140 grams Vidalia onion, diced
50 grams toasted pecan halves
30 milliliters apple cider vinegar
10 grams grated ginger
75 grams Sugar in the Raw
Country Ham and Sage Waffles
454 grams all-purpose flour
430 grams white cornmeal
18 grams baking powder
402 grams sugar
11 grams salt
6 grams black pepper
297 grams melted lard
480 grams eggs
936 grams buttermilk
1 ounce Benton's ham, thinly sliced
2 grams fresh sage leaves
To Assemble and Serve
fryer oil
cracker meal
freshly ground black pepper
5 grams butter


For the Veal Sweetbreads:

In a large, heavy-bottom pot, bring the ham stock up to 180°F, add the sweetbreads, and poach for 15 minutes, or until the sweetbreads have firmed up. Lay out sweetbreads on a sheet pan and put in a blast chiller until cooled. Reserve the leftover broth for sauce. Once cool, clean and portion sweetbreads to 2 ounces. Combine the buttermilk, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Add the sweetbreads to mixture and marinate for 1 hour.

For the Bourbon Cream:

In a large heavy-bottom stock pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the shallot, celery, carrot, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are caramelized, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the maple syrup and cook for another 5 minutes; add the bourbon and reduce by 90 percent. Pour in the reserved poaching liquid from the Veal Sweetbreads and reduce by half. Add the cream and reduce again by a quarter. Remove from heat and strain.

For the Apple Green Tomato Relish:

Tie the juniper berries, peppercorns, and cloves in cheesecloth to make a sachet. In a heavy-bottom stockpot, combine the sachet, tomato, onion, apple, pecans, vinegar, ginger, and sugar. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and reduce until thickened, about 30 minutes. Discard the sachet and cool.

For the Country Ham and Sage Waffles:

Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir in the lard, eggs, and buttermilk. Heat a waffle iron to medium high, lay one slice of ham on the bottom, top with the cornmeal batter, and add sage. Cook until done. Reserve waffles.

To Assemble and Serve:

Heat the fryer oil in a deep fryer. Dredge Veal Sweetbreads in equal amounts cracker meal and flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Flash fry until golden brown. Warm up the Bourbon Cream and mount with butter. Arrange the Country Ham and Sage Waffles on a plate. Top with Veal Sweetbreads and Apple-Green Tomato Relish. Finish the dish with the Bourbon Maple Cream and a sage leaf.