Devilled Kidneys

I  love the idea of devilled kidneys, so redolent of  Chatsworth House and silver chafing dishes, and the kind of gentleman’s clubs where, according to Thackeray, they breakfasted on them, washed down with pale ale, at three o’clock. 

Serves 2


4 very fresh lambs’ kidneys
2 tbsp flour mixed with a good pinch of salt and black pepper
25g soft butter
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon anchovy sauce or puree, or 2 anchovies, mashed

2 thick pieces of bread


Remove the suet from around the kidneys if necessary, along with the thin membrane that might still encase them. Slice in half laterally, so they retain their kidney shape, and use a good pair of scissors or a sharp knife to snip away the membranes that attach the white fatty core to the meat, and remove. Dust in the seasoned flour.

Mash the butter with the other ingredients, and adjust to taste.

Get a small frying pan hot, then add the butter and turn down the heat to medium. Shake off the excess flour, then cook the kidneys for two and a half minutes on each side. Meanwhile, toast the bread.

Scoop the kidneys on to the toast, along with the butter from the pan, and serve.

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