Lamb kidneys are juicy, succulent and highly nutritious. They are at their best when they are just cooked through; overcooking makes them leathery and dry. Dusting the kidneys with flour helps to protect the texture of the kidneys and also thickens the juices into a tasty, clingy sauce. The honey adds a lustre and depth of flavour to the dish, and the lemon juice balances it all.
I keep hammering this one home, but many British cooks seem to think it's not cooked unless it's overcooked – and this is a shame; because our meat and dairy produce are second-to-none in the world, and they deserve better.
This recipe is cooked quickly in a wok to seal in those succulent juices. It is sufficient for eight portions, as a light teatime meal.
1kg trimmed lamb kidneys.
2 tbsp plain flour
Sea salt and black pepper
½ a medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
Oil for stir-frying (ground nut oil is best)
1 tbsp honey
Dash of lemon juice
Trim the kidneys of white gristle and cut each kidney into about 4 pieces. Season the flour with salt and black pepper and dust the kidneys well. Combine the kidneys, onions and garlic and set aside. Heat about 2 tbsp of oil in a wok until it smokes! This ensures a good strike heat in the wok; sealing in the juices of the kidneys. Take care not to burn the oil though. Add the kidney mixture to the hot oil and stir continuously until the kidneys are just cooked – no more. Judging this is critical, but quite easy; you watch a large piece of kidney in the pan as it cooks, then stop cooking just as it stops issuing pink juices. At this stage the flour should have thickened the juices until it clings to the kidney pieces, and the garlic and onion are softened and sweet. This is the time to add the honey and lemon juice. Stir and fry for 30 seconds more and serve.
This is one of those dishes whose taste belies the simplicity of it's ingredients, and it is very rich and very nutritious. You can serve this as a starter, on toast - or with a mushroom risotto as a main course.
Kidneys contain uric acid and should not be served to patients being treated for gout.
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