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I ate a lot of kidneys growing up - almost exclusively lamb's - even for breakfast.

 

It's hard to find lamb's kidneys in New York, unless you pick the right moment to ask a greenmarket vendor. Pig's kidneys can be found in Chinatown - they're not my favorite. Veal kidneys survive on one or two old-time French restaurant menus, usually cooked in some kind of wine and cream sauce.

 

But hey, beef kidneys just showed up in the supermarket. Who could resist? I've never cooked them - they look like veal kidneys, only darker. Research suggests blanching them quickly in hot water and vinegar as the first move.

 

I shall report back later.

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I soak beef kidneys for a few hours to a day in the fridge and change the water once or twice. Little vinegar. My mother always insisted that I look for "baby beef" kidneys, which I guess are veal, but I never find them. It was a Sunday morning breakfast when we were growing up, and a special one at that. I don't think it was ever served as a dinner, although now it's the only time I have them.

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no stores catering to arabs in nyc? the holy land grocery in minneapolis often has lamb kidney and liver.

 

Good point. I can't recall checking any of the Halal butchers.

 

Preparing the kidney (one big one) reminded me that I have indeed cooked beef kidney before. It has a surprisingly large, hard white core which need to be removed. In fact, it's less a matter of removing the core, than slicing the soft lobes off and throwing out the rest. (No suet attached.)

 

I took a brisk approach to the blanching. Boiled a pan of water with about a tablespoon of vinegar and threw the lobes in. Clearly a good idea, because they soon started discharging a bad-smelling, grainy, grey-brown liquid. I poured out the water once it was cloudy, then continued rinsing them in running hot water from the tap. Kept it up until I'd flushed out the grey-ish stuff, then dried them on paper towels. Seasoned, sprinkled with flour, and fried in a pan where I already had chopped onions softening in oil.

 

Huge success with the family, to the regrettable extent that there were none left for me. I will buy two kidneys next time (less than $2 each), and take the trouble to make a pan sauce (red wine, cream or sour cream, mustard, fresh herbs). Also good to serve them with mushrooms, of course. Or some chopped bacon.

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speaking of the sheik of araby, i just finished an interesting conversation with a candidate for a position in arabic language and literature. from syria to edinburgh to north carolina to possibly southern minnesota. i asked her if she cooks with canned kidney beans, but she just looked confused.

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  • 9 years later...

I ate a lot of kidneys growing up - almost exclusively lamb's - even for breakfast.

 

It's hard to find lamb's kidneys in New York, unless you pick the right moment to ask a greenmarket vendor. Pig's kidneys can be found in Chinatown - they're not my favorite. Veal kidneys survive on one or two old-time French restaurant menus, usually cooked in some kind of wine and cream sauce.

 

But hey, beef kidneys just showed up in the supermarket. Who could resist? I've never cooked them - they look like veal kidneys, only darker. Research suggests blanching them quickly in hot water and vinegar as the first move.

 

I shall report back later.

Just reading Simon Hopkinson on kidneys I had a flashback, and looking for somewhere to post it I find I mentioned kidneys for breakfast many years ago.

 

The flashback was the reason I asked my mother to cook kidneys for breakfast (and it was no harder or more expensive than sausages or bacon).

 

It was because Bulldog Drummond ate kidneys for breakfast.

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