Devilled Kidneys


On Saturday night I caught the tail end of Jimmy and the Giant Supermarket on SBS. Jimmy the farmer was trying to produce a free range sausage that would hit Tesco’s ‘value’ range price point. In order to do this, he’d used various lesser cuts, including heart and tongue. Now, the heart and tongue are both muscles, as is, say, a piece of rump, so I was a bit bemused when Tesco insisted on telling its consumer panel that the sausages were 27% ‘meat’ and the remainder was heart and tongue. I was even more frustrated when the consumer panel, despite loving the flavour of the sausages, had something of a meltdown when heart and tongue were mentioned.

So I guess you can figure out that I like offal! One bone of contention in our household is kidneys. Unlike heart and tongue, kidneys are not a muscle, but Andy refuses to eat them, not on that ground, but because “they filter wee” (this is not really 100% correct but this isn’t a physiology blog so let’s let that one ride). And I love them.

And by coincidence, when I was at the butcher shop on Saturday afternoon, 2 lamb kidneys sat on the bench looking all lonely, so I rescued them, ready for the pot for Sunday morning’s breakfast.

Devilled kidneys on toast is one of the kings of a weekend breakfast, as far as I’m concerned. And this is how I make them.

For one person, take half an onion, finely sliced and sweat it down (in olive oil) in a pan with garlic and chilli to taste.

Prepare and chop the kidneys (you may need to skin them, you will definitely need to core them – which is taking out the sort of hard, fatty bit in the middle of the kidney). I personally like them chopped in smallish bite size morsels – they cook more quickly that way. Dust the kidneys in seasoned (plain) flour and then fry with the onions. You want the pan on a reasonable heat so that you get some colour on the kidneys and flour: this will mean you end up with a good sauce.

When the kidneys are looking mostly done (again, to your liking), crank the heat up a bit and add some water to the pan and give it a good stir. At first the water will boil off but judicious stirring and the slow addition of extra water, and maybe a touch more flour, if you want more sauce (I always do), will give you a lovely thick gravy. If you do add more flour, ensure that you give it a good cook out as you don’t that nasty raw flour taste.

Serve on thickly buttered toast, and season generously with salt and pepper. If you’re taking a photo for a blog post, then you can always garnish with some parsley.

I think this is delicious … but where do you stand on offal?