Recipe: Devilled Kidneys

Devilled Kidneys


1 Pork Kidney
Cayenne pepper
English Mustard Powder
Red Wine vinegar
Brown Sugar
Nutmeg, Butter, Brown Sugar
Veg Stock
Salt and Pepper


Forget cereal, fruit salads and sweaty fry-ups. This summer, it’s time to go colonial…

The devilled kidney was a popular breakfast dish during the Edwardian era among young men who wore white suits and administered Britain’s new colonies in the Suez. One pork kidney should do two people for a small breakfast or snack, and one greedy person for a big breakfast or light supper.

Pork kidney is one of the most cholesterol-rich foodstuffs available, so you would do less long-term damage if you poured the boiling gravy into your eye rather than by actually eating it.

This recipe isn’t particularly faithful to the Edwardian original, so feel free to tinker about with it. You could use Marsala instead of vinegar, or add Chinese five spice or smoked paprika if you have them lying around. If you don’t have vegetable stock powder I would advise just adding a bit more salt rather than using a stock cube.

Check that your kidney is fresh. You might have to pull away the opaque membrane, but underneath it should be glossy and brown like a new chestnut. If it is grey and dull, throw it away and have baked beans. Cut the kidney down the centre, and then across into quarters. Scissor away as much of the gristly core as you can: this is an acquired skill, but sharp nosed scissors and patience should get you most of the way there.

Cut the kidney into small squares and toss them around in a dish with the mustard powder, cayenne pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Next, fry them for a few minutes in a hot pan with a good quantity of butter. Add a decent slosh of vinegar, a couple of teaspoonfuls of brown sugar, a teaspoonful of stock powder, and pepper.

Let it simmer down for a few minutes, adding a dash more vinegar or water if it’s over reducing. You should be getting a thick brown gravy. Taste it, and add salt if it needs it. If you want to have the kidneys on toast then sort that out. If you were going to have rice then you should have put it on the heat ten minutes ago, so if you’re following this recipe sequentially you’ve ballsed up.

One comment

  1. 14 Mar ’09 at 7:12 pm

    Jumbo Sausage

    Tried this after I got two kidneys reduced to 28p. Very simple, dead tasty, loads of juice came out the kidneys so I had to thicken it a little. A damn fine meal.