During the last years deer season I was unable to get out and hunt due to the fact that I was finishing my last semester of school and was a touch overwhelmed. Fortunate for me, I have a lot of friends who hunt and are very generous in sharing the animals they kill. I never fired a single shot last year and still managed to get some antelope, 30 pounds of ground venison and few of the stranger bits of the deer.
While at work last fall I got one phone call from a friend, Julie Frana who wanted to know If I wanted any of the organs from a deer she had just killed. Of course I did, so she grabbed the liver, heart and kidneys for me. I also ended up with some wild boar bellies and a whole 30 pound pig they brought back from their annual pig hunt. Needless to say I did pretty well for myself last year and didn't even need to leave the house.
Venison Kidneys are new to me and I have never cooked or ate them in the past so I really wasn't sure what to do with them. I am certain that I could grind them up with some heart and liver for a batch of faggots but I wanted to try them by themselves to see if they were any good.
The first thing that had to happen was, I needed to find out how to cook them. With all things offal there is always one place you can find what you are looking for. Fergus Henderson's The Whole Beast cookbook, I have found this book to be most helpful in many situations where I was at a loss of ideas. Although there wasn't a recipe for venison kidneys there was one for lambs kidneys and being as they are about the same size I figured venison kidneys would be a suitable substitute.
After cutting the kidneys in half and removing the membrane from the outside I gently picked the kidneys over for any tough pieces that might be off putting after cooked. Then I soaked the kidneys in milk for a couple of hours to help rid the kidneys of any unpleasant flavors. After a good soak i milk you pat the kidneys dry then roll them in a flour mixture of Flour, ground mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper and then saute in butter for a couple minutes on each side. when the kidneys are finished remove them from the pan and place them on some crusty bread and add chicken stock and worcestershire sauce and reduce that down and spoon it on top of the kidneys.
I was absolutely amazed but the flavor of these deer kidney's the were almost light and delicate tasting with no abrasive flavor that can sometimes come from kidneys. I served them up with a mixed green salad with a mustard vinegarette and had a very pleasant lunch. I am really looking forward to getting back out there this year and getting back to the hunt.