Devilled kidneys – the devil is in the detail….
“The tea consumed was the very best, the coffee the very blackest, the cream the very thickest…. there were eggs in napkins, and crispy bits of bacon under silver covers…. and devilled kidneys frizzling on a hot water dish; which by the bye were placed closely contiguous to the plate of the worthy archdeacon himself.”Anthony Trollope, The Warden
A friend recently (well, before lockdowns) treated me to breakfast at The Wolseley. The service, the place, everything was wonderful. The menu included just about every traditional British item you could think of as well as some more international ‘healthy’ options (the restaurant describes itself as ‘European’). In any case, the devilled kidneys on the menu at The Wolseley are served with fried bread rather than toast. A dish for the hearty… or rather those not worrying about their hearts!
I plumped for devilled kidneys. They were excellent, and I remembered that, once carefully prepared (ideally by someone else, such as your butcher – this is where the detail comes in), devilled kidneys are simple and quick.
Great for breakfast; brunch; or, with a crisp green salad, for lunch…. or even a light supper. As the Italian in the quote above suggests, in this grey, overcast isle, time gets confused. Devilled kidneys, like The Full English, is a dish which can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
For more about kidneys, follow this link.
This is how to do it.
Serves – 1
- 4 lambs kidneys – get your butcher to halve them, and carefully remove the white bits
- 160g/1 cup plain flour
- 1½ tbsp mustard powder
- Generous pinch of Urfa pepper flakes
- Knob of butter, plus more for buttering the toast
- 2 slices of bread, to toast – white farmhouse works well
- 120 ml/½ cup marsala or red vermouth
- 120 ml/½ cup chicken stock (made with a cube)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- A few sprigs of parsley
- Heat the butter in a smallish frying pan, put your plate in to warm.
- Put the flour, mustard powder, and Urfa pepper flakes into a wide bowl, mix well.
- Toss the kidneys in the seasoned flour.
- When the butter begins to foam, add the kidneys. Keep turning them until they are cooked all over – a couple of minutes (you want them still pink in the middle).
- Meanwhile toast the bread, and butter it. Lift the kidneys out of the frying pan and put them on the toast.
- Add the marsala to the pan, deglaze with it, and reduce.
- Add the stock and the Worcestershire sauce, continue to reduce. Stir well. When the sauce is thick, taste, check for seasoning, and pour over the kidneys.
- Snip over the parsley and enjoy!
Music to cook to
It has to be the theme music to Good Omens, all about the friendship between a good-ish angel, and a bad-ish devil.