I’m kicking off Offal week with an item I’ve shied from my whole life (despite my severe obsession with English food). I haven’t seen kidneys around as much as some organ meats, and I was a little hesitant just because…well…kidneys make pee and that just sounds gross. But hang with me, now. We can get through this together…
Why Should I Eat It??
Kidneys have a metric asston of all your B-Vitamins (“asston” is a real unit of measure, btw), selenium, iron, phosphorous, and zinc. There’s also a good dose of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. Not to mention these babies are CHEAP.
Flavor and Texture…What to Expect?
If you’ve ever had liver, you’ll be fine. Kidneys, at least to me, were extremely similar to liver in texture and consistency–soft with a sort of “creamy” mouth-feel. There are small pockets of fat–never an issue for me–and the whole thing is made up of little bulbs of meat you have to separate before cooking. There are also some tubes running through them and admittedly that weirded me out a bit but if you cut them up to cook you’ll never notice. As far as taste goes, it definitely tasted more beef-y than liver, which should be a good thing. The cooked texture is a little more firm than liver but shares that “creamy” quality.
As I mentioned before, kidneys are extremely similar to liver in texture and consistency, so I treat them the same when cooking. Keep the cuts thin and make sure not to put them over heat that’t too high to avoid charring them.
Today’s Recipe: Steak and Kidney Pie
1 lb Beef Stew Meat
1 lb Beef Kidneys, cleaned and separated
1 Onion, chopped
2 c Sliced Mushrooms
4 Thick Slices Bacon, diced
2 c Beef Stock
2 T Coconut Aminos
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 T Arrowroot Powder
1/2 Large Head Cauliflower
1/4 c Flax Meal
1/4 c Almond Meal
2 Eggs + 1 Egg Yolk
1 t Salt
1 t Pepper
In a large skillet or pot, brown the stew meat and kidneys in some olive oil over medium-high heat. Set Aside.
Add the bacon to the drippings and cook until browned, then add the onions and mushrooms. Saute until onions are translucent. Add the stock and coconut aminos, scraping down the sides of the pan. Whisk in the arrowroot powder and reduce heat. Continue to stir the gravy until thickened.
For the crust, grate the cauliflower and place in a microwave-safe dish. Nuke for 4-6 minutes, or until soft. Allow to cool, then add the eggs, flax, almond flour, and seasoning.
In a 3 QT dish, combine the stew meat, kidneys, gravy, and vegetables. Stir to coat the meat with all the gravy, then spoon the crust on top to cover.
Bake the pie at 350 degrees for 35-45 minute, until crust is browned.