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A variation on Ronald Johnson’s deviled kidneys.

The Poet Laureate of britishfoodinamerica riffs on a British classic. A simple and satisfying supper on toast for two; may be doubled or otherwise altered in amount.

tarot_devil035.jpg-about 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
-about 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
-about I Tablespoon minced shallot
-about 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
-4 lamb kidneys, split and cored of white membrane
-about 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
-toast for two (or as appropriate)
-about 1 Tablespoon minced parsley

  1. Make the devil by mixing up the mustard, juice, shallot, Worcestershire and cayenne.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavyskillet over high heat and quickly sear the kidneys on each side: You are not trying to cook them through.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the devil to the pan and coat the kidneys and cook them to your taste; we like the centers slightly pink. You should not need even 5 minutes.
  4. Pile the deviled kidneys on toast, pile the parsley on them and serve hot.


- You can, as Johnson suggests, substitute veal kidneys for the lambs’. Clean them of white membrane too, then slice them into big coins about 3/8 of an inch thick. They are milder than lambs’ kidneys.

- Johnson’s recipe uses grated onion instead of our shallots.

- He slices lambs’ as well as veal kidneys ¼ inch thick and drops his devil into the pan to bubble up before adding the kidney; in our experience that process is sticky, splatty and messy. It also means you get no crunchy sear. He also likes his kidneys done a little longer, “until all traces of pink are gone.”