Blanquette de ris de veau au cidre basque, champignons et grattons à l’estragon

Recipe : Basque cider-flavoured sweetbread blanquette with mushrooms and tarragon-flavoured ciccioli

Basque cider (sagarnoa or sagardoa, literally apple juice) has been made in the Basque Country since Antiquity. Basque legends even state that it was the first “drink in the world”.
Chef Cédric Béchade from the Auberge Basque, in Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle, invites us to discover a recipe mixing sweetbread and Basque cider: tradition, noble product and modernity… perfection in a dish.

Cider: a Basque tradition

Cider is an ancestral tradition which has been observed for centuries in the Basque Country.

Around the month of February, the Txotx begins, i.e. when the barrels are opened to celebrate the new cider.

The word Txotx (pronounced “tchotch”) comes from the Basque word “zotz” meaning “little branch of a tree”. In the past it was used to describe the small piece of fashioned wood used as a cork or stopper on barrels.

Nowadays, the word Txotx is the name given to the ceremony which summons and brings together people around a barrel to be served with cider.

Ingredients for 6 people

SWEETBREAD
3 veal sweetbreads 1 garlic clove
1 green part of a leek 1 bay leaf
A few carrot peels
1 onion

SAUCE
20 cl dry cider (Basque) 100 g liquid cream

MUSHROOMS
300 g chestnut mushrooms or ceps, girolles, black trumpets, etc. 5 cl olive oil, rapeseed oil or other
20 g soft butter

SWEETBREAD CICCIOLI
Sweetbread trimmings (fat scratchlings) 2 branches of tarragon

Preparation

SWEETBREAD
Fill a saucepan with water, add the peeled garlic clove, the green leek, the bay leaf, the carrot peels and the onion cut in quarters. Bring to the boil then leave to simmer. Add the sweetbread and poach while simmering for 10 minutes. Drain and sieve the stock, then reduce it 2/3. Add the cider and reduce by half, add the cream and reduce to a sauce-like texture, correct seasoning if need be.

MUSHROOMS
Wash the mushrooms and chop if necessary, then sauté them slightly in the oil. When they have steamed, add the soft butter, once they are perfectly coloured, remove them. Deglaze the stir-fry with some stock to add the mushroom juices to the stock.

SWEETBREAD CICCIOLI
Chop up sweetbread pieces into 20-30 g sizes, set aside. Crush the small pieces very finely, then sauté them in the oil you wish. When they are well browned add a dollop of butter to finish off caramelizing. Drain and add the chopped tarragon. Season.

FINISHING OFF
Heat the sauce gently, add the sweetbread to warm the ensemble, present them in a dish and add the mushrooms and ciccioli

Chef’s tip

  • Cook the sweetbread so that its texture is soft yet still firm.
  • Food & Wine pairing: Topa/Condrieu craft Basque cider, Stéphane Ogier, La Combe de Malleval 2015

L'Auberge Basque établissement 4*

La finesse des dressages de L'auberge Basque

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EXTERNAL LINKS:

PRACTICAL INFO 

745, Vieille Route de Saint-Pée 64310 Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle

L'Auberge Basque 

Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle

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