This section is from the book "Philadelphia Cook Book: A Manual Of Home Economies", by Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer. Also available from Amazon: Philadelphia Cook Book.
Calf's sweetbreads only should be used for food, and, as they spoil very quickly, they should be thrown in cold water the moment they come from the market; after soaking one hour, trim them free from fat, lard or not, as you wish, put them into boiling water; add a teaspoonful of salt, stand them over a very moderate fire, and parboil fifteen minutes; then throw them into cold water for five minutes, remove carefully any skin or rough parts, and then put them in the coldest place you have until you are ready to cook them. In this way they will keep thirty or forty hours. Always parboil the sweetbreads in a porcelain or granite saucepan, and use a silver knife in cutting, as they contain a peculiar phosphoric acid that acts upon iron or tin, entirely destroying their flavor.
2 pairs of sweetbreads 1 tablespoonful of butter 1/2 pint of milk
1 tablespoonful of flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Trim the fat from the sweetbreads and parboil fifteen minutes. Now lard them with five lardoons each, put them in a small baking-pan, dredge them with salt, pepper, and flour, cover the bottom of the pan with stock or water, and bake in a moderate oven for three-quarters of an hour. Baste every ten minutes. When they are nearly done, put the butter in a frying-pan, add to it the flour (do not brown), and mix until smooth; add the milk, stir until it boils, then add the French peas drained free from all liquor. Stir again until they boil. Dish the sweetbreads in the centre of the dish with the peas around them.
Trim, lard and bake the sweetbreads as in the preceding recipe. Drain the liquor from a can of French peas, turn them into a small saucepan, add a piece of butter the size of a walnut, a half-teaspoonful of salt, a little pepper; heap in the centre of a heated dish, put the sweetbreads around, and serve very hot.
1 pair of sweetbreads 1 tablespoonful of butter
1 tablespoonful of flour
1/2 pint of cream
Parboil the sweetbreads as directed; pick them to pieces, rejecting all the fine membranes, then chop rather fine. Chop the mushrooms very fine. Put the butter on to melt, be careful not to brown; when melted, add the flour, mix until smooth; add the milk, stir constantly until it boils; add the mushrooms and sweetbreads, and stir over the steam of the teakettle for about five minutes, add a half-teaspoonful of salt and a dash of white pepper. Serve in silver shells or little paper cases.
1 pair of sweetbreads 1 tablespoonful of flour 1 gill of cream 1/2 teaspoonful of salt
1 tablespoonful of butter 1 gill of white stock 6 mushrooms, chopped fine 2 dashes of white pepper
Yolks of two eggs
Wash and parboil the sweetbreads as directed. Remove the fibrous skin and fat and pick into small pieces. Put the butter in saucepan to melt, do not brown; add the flour, mix until smooth, then add the stock and cream; stir continually until it boils, then add the mushrooms and sweetbreads; stir the whole over the steam of the teakettle and let stand there until wanted. When ready to serve them, take from the fire, add the yolks, well beaten, salt and pepper, and, if you use it, one tablespoonful of sherry, and serve in a small heated dish or individual paper cases. A calf's brain may be parboiled, mashed, and added to the sauce. Many think this a great improvement.