When I was working in Bamako, Mali at the American Embassy, my office window looked out onto this minuscule bar/restaurant, run by a Lebanese family, called Ali Baba’s. It was there that I first tasted sauteed lamb kidneys. It was love at first bite and no other kidney dish I’ve eaten, whether they were veal, beef or lamb has ever rivaled Ali Baba’s. That said, the following recipe is not bad. I suggest using lamb or veal kidneys. Please resist any temptation to overcook either the vegetables or the kidneys. The vegetables will lose their juicy goodness and the kidneys will be rubbery.
Rognons de Veau
1 1/2 lb veal or lamb kidneys, cleaned and cut into cubes
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 1/2 tbsp of Port
2 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp of water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 onion, quartered
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into squares
1 green bell pepper, cut into squares
2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Soak the kidneys in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and mix with shallots, Port, soy sauce, water and salt. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Saute the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until translucent. Add the peppers and celery and continue to saute for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
With 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter, saute the kidneys for 2-4 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the onion, garlic, celery and peppers to the pan and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
Serve with steamed white rice and a Marie-Louise Beaujolais