Any veal recipe, in my opinion, needs a good red wine, the right blend of herbs and spices and maybe, maybe, an exotic fruit. My veal kidneys recipe is an updated version of the usual and common way to cook Veal Kidneys in Red Wine. I usually will kick it up a notch as they say with different types of red wine and different fruits.
One of my favorite ways of cooking veal is with a tamarind sauce. Tamarind is a tree that produces pod-like fruits that are deliciously tangy. Tamarind has various medicinal purposes. For this recipe, I used the pulp.
The pulp can be purchased in many supermarkets. The pulp is sold with seeds and without seeds. It is best to buy the pulp without seeds if you are planning on using Tamarind in your recipe.
Veal kidneys or any offals are not a popular in many households. Some people may eat an animal organ regularly and others once or twice a year. There are many reasons for this unpopularity. Price, taste, and probably because it is an organ. Many people do not eat the organ of the animals.
You may also have heard the word Rognons which is the French translation for Kidneys. Rognons de veau or Veal Kidneys is the same. If you are dining at a French restaurant don’t be afraid not to try “Rognons de Veau.” Supposedly the French cook it very well – cannot confirm it but I have experienced it.
I have eaten Veal Kidneys several times. It is not a meat that I would eat once a week or even twice a month. The reason is that of taste and richness. The taste of the meat is a bit “organy” if that’s word. Kidneys like any other offal must be cooked very briefly and at the right temperature. When cooked too long, the meat will toughen and not enjoyable.
I prefer to eat any recipe prepared with the kidneys of a veal with bread. It may be the European side of me or because I am a bread lover. A good French Baguette or Brioche bread is the way to go. But again Crispy Fried Plantains is great also.
Preparing any offal requires some TLC. The kidneys of the veal must be thoroughly cleaned. Any membrane surrounding the kidneys must be removed. The kidneys are then split in half lengthwise which will expose the fat. Remove as much fat as possible.
You can either blanch the meat if you want but I would not recommend it for braising because the wine will take care of any unwanted organy taste. Proceed to the remaining steps in the recipe and you should have a tasty dish.
Adventure a little, you will be surprised at the things you will enjoy eating. And don’t forget to pair it with a good red wine.
Here are some suggestions from William-Sonoma
Pairing Wine with Meat, Game, and Poultry
- 1 - 1.5 pounds veal kidneys
- plain all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 cloves of minced garlic mixed with ½ tsp peppercorn - mashed in mortar and pestle
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 cup of dry red wine add more if necessary
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon seedless tamarind
- 1 - 2 tablespoons butter - microwave for 30 seconds and stir vigorously to soften the tamarind almost like a paste
- For the veal kidneys, split in half to expose the fat if not already cut and the fatty sinews. Remove both fat and the fatty sinews with a sharp knife. Cut the kidneys into bite sized pieces - following the lobes if you can. Pat them dry if necessary.
- Lightly dust the pieces with plain flour and set aside.
- Prepare the tamarind sauce. In a small bowl, microwave for 30 seconds the tamarind with butter. Stir vigorously to soften the tamarind (almost like a paste). Set aside
- Heat 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan. On medium heat, fry the onion, garlic mixture and cumin and the kidneys for 5 minutes. Stir constantly.
- Add dry red wine and cook until the liquid thickens and reduces to a sauce. This might take 4-5 minutes. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the tamarind mixture.
- Turn off the heat, and add the parsley, season with salt and pepper if necessary
- and serve with toasted bread or fried plantains.