Various animals have kidneys that are suitable for eating. Most sought-after are lambs’ kidneys, which have a delicate flavour and are suitable both for grilling and frying. Care must be taken not to overcook them, as they tend to toughen if cooked for too long.

Veal kidneys are as delicate in flavour and though they may be grilled , are more often sauteed and used in quickly cooked stews.

Pork kidneys are somewhat larger and have a less delicate flavour. They may also be grilled , but are more often sauteed and added to stews. The larger ox kidneys, unlike the other varieties, require long cooking. They have a strong flavour and are not usually served alone, though they may be added to stews.

Kidneys are rich in iron and protein, and also supply Vitamin A, nictonic acid and some minerals. They are usually grilled for breakfast, served as an entree or added to other meat to give additional flavour. The best example of this is the well known English BEEFSTEAK .

Kidneys are usually sold individually except for ox kidney which is sold by weight. Allow 2 to 3 lambs’ kidneys per person, depending of course on the size (they weigh between 1 ½ ounces to 3 ounces each) and the way in which they are to be cooked.

Pork kidneys are similar in appearance to lambs’ kidneys but much longer and one per person will be sufficient.

Veal kidneys look different, having a segmented appearance. They weigh be-tween 12 ounces and 1 pound and will serve 2 to 3 persons.

To prepare kidneys, remove the sur-rounding fat, which is known as kidney suet. This should be set aside and later rendered down for frying and roasting. The suet from lambs’ kidneys is especially good for this purpose.

Lay the kidneys on a wooden board and, with a pair of scissors or a sharp knife, nick the skin. Peel the skin off with’ your fingers, taking care not to break the flesh beneath. Remove as much of the fatty core as possible. If the kidneys are to be grilled , slice them almost but not quite through, so that the two halves of each kidney open out flat. Wash the kidneys in cold, salted water and dry thoroughly with kitchen paper towels before using.

Kidney and Bacon Snacks

Sherry and soy sauce give a piquant flavour to these Kidney and Bacon Snacks. They make tasty canapes, but could double as a light lunch or supper dish if accompanied by rice or creamed potatoes.

4 tablespoons dry sherry

2 tablespoons soy sauce

8 lambs’ kidneys, cleaned, prepared and halved

16 lean bacon slices

In a small shallow dish, combine the sherry and soy sauce. Add the kidneys to the dish and allow them to marinate for 15 minutes.

Preheat the grill to moderately high.

With a slotted spoon remove the kidneys from the marinade. Reserve the marinade. Place one kidney half on each slice of bacon and roll up. Secure the bacon rolls with cocktail sticks.

Brush the bacon rolls with the reserved marinade and place them on the grill rack. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until the bacon is crisp and the kidneys are cooked. Serve immediately.