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Thread: What do well-prepared kidneys taste like?

  1. #1

    What do well-prepared kidneys taste like?

    I just had veal kidneys at a French bistro today. It was served in a port wine sauce with mushrooms and onions. The sauce was superb -- very flavourful. But the kidneys were kind of blech. They were a bit rubbery and a bit pasty. I had ordered it because I thought the chefs would turn it into something silken or velvety. Calf's liver or chicken livers, when properly cooked, have a delicious smoothness. I thought this would be the same. Instead they tasted like the kidneys I've eaten at greasy spoons in Chinatown. Was there something not quite right or do kidneys always taste like this?

  2. #2
    What do well-prepared kidneys taste like?


    Just kidding; I couldn't resist the "obvious" answer. I have no idea what they taste like 'cause I've never tried them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Brit living in TO
    Foodfiend, funny you should mention this as I just made a British classic last week - Steak & Kidney Pie. And it was so good, it's back on the menu next week.

    Mmm, what do kidney's taste like? It's hard to describe, though definately not like chicken! They do have a different texture, but not rubbery or pasty. I really can't think of a word right now. Cooked right, they should be soft with a slight bite to them perhaps? I used pork kidneys in my recipe so that may have a different flavour from veal kidneys.

    They are definately delicious though combined with stewing beef. Perhaps it was kidney overkill?

    Try them again I'd say.

    FYI, my kidneys were stewed for about 1 1/2 hours.


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    The great northeast.
    I made a wonderful steak and kidney pie once. Tasted great but my kitchen smelled like the men's room. (I hadn't prepared them properly)

    Texture of kidneys, for me, was like a cross between stew beef and mushrooms.
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  5. #5
    Originally posted by slknight
    Must be something silly in the air, I was just going to post the same thing!


  6. #6
    Originally posted by beejayw1

    Texture of kidneys, for me, was like a cross between stew beef and mushrooms.
    I'd say the texture was similar -- sort of like very firm, slightly rubbery mushrooms. But the taste killed it for me. In fact, I was happy there was so much sauce because it helped mask the flavour.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Even though I'm eating meat again these days, I'd be scared to eat a kidney or a liver. Organs of toxin elimination... considering the ambient level of toxin in the world these days, even an organic organ should probably come to table decorated with a tiny radish skull and crossbones.

    (My (English) dad's favourite joke, when my mother asks him what he wants for dinner, is "Steak and kidney pie." Though she grew up killing her own chickens, she refuses to cook a kidney. I think because of an incident rather like yours, beejay.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Columbus, OH, USA
    I used to love lamb kidneys and veal kidneys. The lamb kidneys were great fried with eggs, and the veal kidneys were equally great sliced and sauteed/braised with sherry or marsala. I'd say the taste is kind of smoky and earthy, with a kind of musty tang in the upper registers. (Bet you think I know what I'm talking about, huh? Sounds like one of those pretentious wine descriptions: "an amusing little wine with arabesques of frivolity on the back of the tongue...." )


  9. #9
    Sounds like they didn't cook it well then. "Smoky and earthy" isn't similar to "rubbery and pasty". Shame. I wanted something sophisticated last night.

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