Greatest recipes ever: Caroline Conran’s devilled kidneys


‘Few dishes can have both a steadying nature and be uplifting. Devilled kidneys is the exception, achieving both beautifully.’

Fergus Henderson

Devilled kidneys

Extract from Caroline Conran’s British Cooking – Published by Treasure Press in 1983 (first published in 1978 by  Park Lane Press)

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To serve 4

8 lamb’s kidneys, skinned, cored and diced
1tbsp flour
Salt and cayenne pepper
2tbsp dry mustard
50g (2oz) butter
1 dessertspoon Worcester sauce
150ml (¼pint) chicken stock
4 pieces of hot buttered toast

This was the most traditional and delicious of breakfast dishes, without which no grand Edwardian breakfast table, with its rows of sizzling silver dishes, would be complete. If you dice the kidneys the night before, there will be no problems of early morning preparations, and your family will have reason to be grateful.

Dust the kidneys with flour, salt and plenty of cayenne pepper. Roll them in dry mustard. Melt the butter in a small frying pan and cook the kidneys over a gentle heat for five minutes, turning them over now and again. They should be just pink inside. When they are almost done to your liking, pour the Worcester sauce and the stock around them, simmer until the gravy is thick and serve them on hot buttered toast.

Fergus Henderson’s books, Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking and Beyond Nose To Tail Eating, are published by Bloomsbury