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Veal or Lamb Kidneys Sauteed With Lemon and Mustard

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“I admired Julia Child very much; she was a great influence on my cooking and eating habits. The first time I saw her show -- I must have been eight years old-- she made these veal kidneys. Mom and I were enthralled, and we ran right to the store to buy kidneys. We made them just like Julia, and they were delicious. It was only later that I learned that not everyone likes kidneys (my DH tops the list), which is a shame because they have a rich flavor and a pleasing consistency. I think Julia's method was so successful because she fried the kidneys first before slicing and saucing them, so the meat remains tender and the flavor subtle. These kidneys would be great served with garlic mashed potatoes and a full-bodied red wine.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mash together the mustard and 3 tablespoons of the butter and set aside.
  2. Remove the button of fat at the kidney hilum without piercing the flesh. Kitchen scissors work best for me. If the butcher left any opaque membrane on the kidney, remove it.
  3. Over medium heat melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet until the foam begins to subside.
  4. Roll the kidneys in the melted butter, then cook them uncovered for about 10 minutes, turning every minute or two. Regulate the heat so that the butter is always very hot but not discoloring. The kidneys should brown lightly and stiffen but not become hard.
  5. Remove them from the skillet and keep warm for the few minutes it takes to make the sauce.
  6. Stir the shallots into the butter in the skillet and cook for about one minute. Add the wine and the lemon juice. Boil, scraping up the coagulated cooking juices and reduce the liquids to about 4 tablespoons.
  7. Off heat swirl in the mustard butter by spoonfuls into the skillet.
  8. Rapidly cut the kidneys into slices 1/8 inch thick (they should be a light pink). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  9. Toss the kidney slices in the skillet with their juices and the parsley over low heat for a minute or two to warm them without allowing the sauce to simmer.
  10. Serve immediately, preferably on warmed plates.

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