5 Ingredients or Fewer

Grilled Lamb Kidneys with Crispy Sage

May  7, 2013
6 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Only once in a blue moon I manage to acquire a food item as precious as a pair of fresh lamb kidneys. And when such miracle happens, the little guys receive the utmost respect and nothing less than royal treatment. Usually, it means the simplest possible preparation, accompanied by the very best ingredients. Instead of a milk soak, they get a bath in a marinade of olive oil, balsamic and fresh herbs. They then meet the grill for a perfectly timed moment; long enough to acquire a beautiful char on the outside, yet short enough to remain tender and pink in the center. That’s about all the cooking that happens, and on the plate they go! No fancy sauces, just a generous sprinkle of Maldon crystals and black pepper. And with a slice of freshest baguette on the side, this is my idea of eating heaven. —QueenSashy

What You'll Need
  • 2 lamb kidneys
  • 4-5 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced sage, plus another 16 or so leaves for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons frying oil
  • Maldon salt (or your personal favorite) and freshly ground pepper.
  1. Clean the kidneys from the fat and membranes attached to them. Cut the kidneys in half lengthwise, and gently remove ureter, the white tissue in the center. (Even if you have never done it before, no worries, it will be immediately obvious. You will need a sharp knife though, to avoid damaging the precious little ones.)
  2. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, minced sage and balsamic. Place the kidney halves in the marinade and marinate for about two hours.
  3. In a small pan, over medium heat, heat the frying oil until very hot but not smoking. Fry a couple of sage leaves at a time until crisp, for about 5-10 seconds. Using a fork, transfer the leaves to paper towels and sprinkle generously with salt.
  4. Preheat the grill (griddle, grill pan or cast iron pan). Remove the kidney halves from the marinade and place them on the grill. Grill about a minute or two per side. (This will depend on the size of the kidneys, the grill/pan, etc., but make sure not to overcook them, or they will be dry and rubbery. The end product should be wonderfully charred on the outside and medium rare inside.)
  5. Place each kidney half on a plate, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, garnish with fried sage leaves and serve immediately.
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  • pierino
  • QueenSashy
  • Gleaner
  • jennifer shaw
    jennifer shaw
Aleksandra aka QueenSashy is a scientist by day, and cook, photographer and doodler by night. When she is not writing code and formulas, she blogs about food, life and everything in between on her blog, Three Little Halves. Three Little Halves was nominated for 2015 James Beard Awards and the finalist for 2014 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. Aleksandra lives in New York City with her other two halves, Miss Pain and Dr. V.

6 Reviews

Gleaner March 30, 2020
not much in the food blogosphere on preparing and cooking lamb kidneys. So happy to find this simple and excellent recipe. I turned the kidney after one minute on a very hot grill pan and then cooked for two more minutes.
jennifer S. July 28, 2015
cant understand what you do with finely minced sage leaves you don't tell us?? all in all a lovely dish.have been looking for this for ages.do you have an app I can download?? or do I just go through yummly...jenny shaw ([email protected] [email protected])
QueenSashy July 28, 2015
Hi Jennifer, I place the fried sage leaves next to the kidney, I like how the crispy sage complements the flavor of the kidney. (But it is really an optional step.) I do not have an app, you can find my recipes here on Food52 and on my blog (www.threelittlehalves.com). Best, Aleksandra
pierino May 8, 2013
I do hope that some "nose to tail" organ meat makes it to the final round of judging.
QueenSashy May 8, 2013
Ha ha ha -- it will be a true test of the community.
pierino May 8, 2013
Yeah, show some guts.