Contains: Gluten, nightshades (in the ras al hanout). Is: Nut-free.
Towards the bottom of this post is a photo of lamb kidneys prior to cooking. Just a heads up.
Kidneys are very healthy organs, if obtained from pastured animals. They are high in Vitamin A (benefits for vision), as well as in iron, and also in most of the B vitamins. It is possible to overdose on Vitamin A, but for most people eating kidneys, this won’t be an issue. It’s not likely that eating kidneys will be a daily habit… If you are susceptible to gout, however, you probably won’t want to eat kidney beyond a taste or two; it has high amounts of the purines that bring on gout attacks in those with that autoimmune condition.
The taste is somewhat liver-like, but far more approachable than liver, if liver puts you off. Lamb kidneys are milder than beef kidneys, and may be an entry way for you to discover this nutritious food. If you are going to eat meat… it’s worthwhile to try nose to tail.
I have a series of recipes for beef kidneys — all can be adapted for lamb. Indeed, the original plan for these kidneys was to make steak and kidney pie (which I loved with beef) using lamb cuts and kidneys mixed for the cognate dish.
Instead, I decided to focus solely on the kidney, but play around with that puff pastry that I’d never worked with prior to that bovine steak and kidney pie. Smaller appetizer-sized treatments for the lamb kidney intrigued me. Even a person with gout could probably try and enjoy one.
I’ve done some other playing-around with puff pastry in the interim. I’ve discovered that, alas, the apparently more easy to find Partridge Farm brand tastes a bit, shall we say, artificial to me. I’ll stick with Dufour’s brand, which is so good I’m tempted to eat it raw. It costs more, though, and can be harder to find. But, since I don’t do much puff pastry work, I’m going to go for quality when I do use it.
Not being much of a baker, I use things like old wine bottles for rolling pins, and upturned mugs or glasses for biscuit punches. There’s plenty of kitchen clutter here to begin with… I recycle excess egg wash into omelets.
Nothing says you can’t adapt this recipe for any other source of coarsely home-minced (or even finely ground burger-type) meat. OR, a slew of chopped veggies!
Prep Time: 20 minutes.
Cook Time: 20 minutes for the skillet, 20 minutes for the oven.
Rest Time: About 20 minutes for the stuffing to cool down before one stuffs the puff pastries. After baking – none.
Serves: 8-10 pastries, so say 4-5 people as an appetizer.
Leftovers: Not after baked. Eat soon, and warm.
Lamb Kidney Puff Pastries
- 3 lamb kidneys, sliced in half longitudinally. Remove any hard white parts, and dice.
- 1/2 small onion, peeled and diced.
- 2 teaspoons ras al hanout seasoning.
- Cooking oil, about a teaspoon or so.
- Puff pastry, thawed.
- Egg wash: beat up one egg with a tablespoon of water.
In a skillet, add cooking oil, turn heat to medium. When the skillet is hot, add the onions. Sauté these until at least translucent, or until beginning to brown lightly (10-20 minutes).
Add the diced kidneys and the ras al hanout. Sauté for another 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Take a sheet of thawed but still chill puff pastry, roll it out on a clean lightly-floured surface using a rolling pin (or if you don’t bake often enough to have one — ahem, a bottle, empty or otherwise, of wine), and use a three-inch more or less diameter biscuit punch (or the top part of a suitable mug or glass, if likewise…) to punch out circles of dough.
Make some egg wash: mix one whole egg with a teaspoon of water, beat with a fork.
Place a spoonful of meat/onion mixture into the center of half of these circles, and use the other halves to cover the top. You can make the two halves stick together best by using a little egg wash between the rims.
Use the tines of a fork to crimp the halves together, sealing in the stuffing. If you wish, pierce the tops of these with fork tines – this will make those specific appetizers less puffy. (I tried it both ways, and prefer them more puffed, i.e., without the fork tine marks.
Baste the tops with a little egg wash, which will aid in the browning process.
Place on parchment paper in a baking pan, and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove. Enjoy while still warm.
(Note: I made a couple as roll-ups. Rather than a top or bottom shell, I took some leftover puff pastry, rolled that out, and dropped in some of the stuffing, rolled until ends met with a little overlap, and sealed that off. The original pastries make for a better presentation.)
Well, folks, it’s that time again — the link parties as they link up here!
Homestead Blog Hop: hey, if anyone is raising their own sheep or goats for meat: waste not want not!