In my continuing journey eating the less-often eaten bits of the sheep, I had devilled kidneys for dinner last Saturday night (and leftovers on Sunday evening as well).
James had sausages – good – I didn’t want to share the kidneys with anyone.This recipe serves two. I thought I might be able to eat it all myself in one day, but I was wrong.
While I was cooking them the kidneys had a faint smell of newly born lamb which reminded me of nearly a year ago now when I helped bring the lambs into the world – see here and here. I remember how and where each one was born. It was a strange moment but I like knowing exactly where my food comes from and this is the reality of eating meat. It made me appreciate it even more and is the main reason why I would never ever, ever waste a single bit of any of our animals.
I can’t help but think that if people really took on board the link between meat and animals they wouldn’t so casually throw it away or waste it – the thought of throwing away meat seems like such a sacrilege. I also can’t really understand people’s reticence to eat offal (unless you don’t like the taste which then is totally fair enough – I loath cooked brussel sprouts). Many people say they just don’t like the idea of it, but for me the squeamish bit is in eating meat in the first place. I personally can’t see the difference between a kidney and a muscle. Moreover, not to eat it is such a cruel waste. As our animals live and die to provide our food we eat up all of it with thanks – and what we don’t eat, the dog does.
Devilled Kidneys: 6 lambs’ kidneys, couple of tbs of creme fraiche, Worcester sauce, dijon mustard, 1 or 2 tsp green pickled peppercorns, half an onion, splash of sherry, seasoning.
Gently fry the chopped onion in a frying pan. Meanwhile cut the kidneys in half and take out the white core bit – I only did a so-so job with this.
Add kidneys to pan and fry until just cooked – don’t over cook them. Deglaze pan with a slosh of sherry. Add in some mustard, Worcester sauce and creme fraiche – and the peppercorns. Serve on toast. I had it with some little gem lettuce leaves from the shop (!) on Saturday and home-grown leeks gently braised in butter on Sunday. It was best with the leeks as they could be stirred into the creamy sauce.
N.B. it was delicious and didn’t taste at all of new born lamb – it tasted of kidneys – yum.
N.B. The lambs had a great, full life, bopping about on the smallholding, escaping into fields and generally being sheep. They stayed with their mums for many months before being weaned and they had a quick, quiet death. I am very thankful not only for this but also that we are able to raise a few lambs.
N.B. I am now so ready for the grass to start growing again though ….