Boiled Kidneys

Boiled Kidneys for breakfast! I sure do love me some boiled kidneys! Frankly I had never tasted kidneys and I was illuminated to hear there was such a course for the waking hours. While watching “Christmas in Connecticut”, a black and white film from 1945, I was intrigued by the breakfast of choice, boiled kidneys. Never in my life had a heard of such a meal…BUT all the more reason to experience the dish.

I am quite fascinated by foods that characters eat in movies and books. One of my favorite childhood books, “Bread and Jam for Francis”, illustrates wonderfully a soft-boiled egg served in a pedestal dish with a delicate, petite spoon along side toast and jam. This was a delightful image and a taste-bud exciting, memory for me. I never had my egg served with such a presentation. Well the thought of eating boiled kidneys brought on a similar child like curiosity of what imaginary characters eat. Off to the store I went to purchase some kidneys, 3 lamb kidneys sourced from a local farm in Oregon.

According to the USDA nutrition database, braised lamb kidney is a remarkable source of  B3 (Niacin), B6, Folate,  B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B5, B12, Vitamin, A, and C. The mineral content is quite expansive and includes magnesium,  potassium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, zinc and calcium. The total cost was $2.30.

Julia Child would have a recipe for such a dish, after all she loved offals from ruminant  animals. “The Art of French Cooking” had 6 recipes. I chose one with mustard, butter, and parsley, well actually my husband chose this version. I asked him to pick his favorite…I needed a to have a partner in crime.

The results were remarkable! The organ meat tasted of minerals and grass combined with a well aged steak with a metallic hint. I served the dish with butter braised Yukon gold potatoes and onions. Topped the whole plate off with fresh lemon juice and parsley. My husband said he prefered it to steak!!

I would like to give thanks to all of the wonderful authors of screen plays and books for celebrating food’s role in the imaginary characters of your stories. And thank you Julia Child for using so much butter. And thank you dear cow for eating the grass that produced the butter and for the farmer that raised you on grass and for the lamb that grazed on grass under the care of his farmer. Oh and the potato farmer for continuing to nourish his soil and create a lovely tuber. I cherish all of the mammals that contributed to this meal!