Bowland Outdoor Veal Sweetbreads with charred & pureed Formby asparagus, onion ash & potato string

North West Young Chef of the Year

North West Young Chef of the Year

Standard Supplier 5th July 2013
North West Young Chef of the Year

Bowland Outdoor Veal Sweetbreads with charred & pureed Formby asparagus, onion ash & potato string

Starter cooked by Paul Mackellar from Foxholes Restaurant during the Lancashire Heat of the North West Young Chef of the Year 2013


  • 1 Large Wareings Maris piper potato
  • 3 large white onions
  • Booths Formby asparagus 375g
  • 75g butter
  • 75ml double cream
  • 50g Wareings baby spinach
  • 4 Booths Formby asparagus spears
  • Bowland outdoor Veal sweetbreads 4 large
  • 200ml rapeseed oil


For the asparagus purée, cook the sliced asparagus & spinach (reserving some to sauté) in a pan of boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes, or until soft. Drain, and then squeeze out any excess water. Place into a food processor with the butter and blend until well combined, then add the cream and blend until smooth. Season with salt, and then pass the mixture through a sieve into a small bowl. Set aside.
For the onion ash, preheat an oven to 60C/140F/Gas ¼. Place the onions into a hot, dry, heavy based pan; cook the onions until black on all sides. Place the onions onto a tray and place into the oven overnight or until dry and crisp. Once fully dried, place the onions into a spice grinder, or small food processor, and blend to a fine powder.
For the sweetbreads, season the sweetbreads with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the duck fat into a pan and heat up to 60C/140F using a thermometer, then add the sweetbreads and cook for one hour, keeping an eye on the temperature. Once cooked, remove the sweetbreads from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain off any excess duck fat. Place the sweetbreads into a hot pan with a little oil and brown on all sides, add a knob of butter and baste the sweetbreads with the butter.
For the griddled asparagus blanch in boiling salted water until just tender then drain and place on a smoking griddle pan and chargrill on all sides. Meanwhile sauté off some spinach in butter and drain
Peel the potato and put through a Japanese turning machine fry in a deep fat fryer at 180C until golden

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