Sweetbreads Get Their Grill On

By Caroline Hatchett


Caroline Hatchett
Veal Sweetbreads and House Giardiniera
Veal Sweetbreads and House Giardiniera

Forget delicate. We’ll take our sweetbreads rustic and charred any day. At Chicago’s La Sirena Clandestina, Chef John Manion sends his sweetbreads for a hot romp on the grill, imparting smoke and all the familiar flavors of summer onto the pleasant funk of the thymus. South America is the starting point for the menu at La Sirena, and Manion’s sweetbread technique is rooted in Argentina’s asado culture. Manion poaches and grills the sweetbreads whole, squeezing lemon over top, and slicing them just before plating. Nodding to Argentina’s Italian ties, he finishes the plate with house giardiniera: a spicy finish for a heady sweetbread.

Grilled Sweetbreads
1. Soak whole sweetbreads in milk overnight.
2. Rinse, clean, and poach them at 160ºF for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on size.
3. Press between sheet pans overnight.
4. At pick-up, season the sweatbreads with salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil.
5. On a hot grill, cook for 2 minutes, turning every 30 seconds.
6. Rest 10 seconds and squeeze lemon juice over the top.
7. Rest a few minutes, slice, and plate with giardiniera.


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