2veal kidneys – to ensure good quality the flesh should be rosy and they should be robed generously in dry white fat
30g (1oz) butter
1 level tablespoonDijon mustard
2tablespoons chopped shallots
3generous tablespoons Calvados
2tablespoons coarsely-chopped chervil
Remove all the fat and the skin from the kidneys, leaving them a shining rosy pink. Split each in two lengthways, starting from the edge where the fatty casing was attached. Remove as many of the little tubes, fibres and fatty particles from the interior of the kidneys as you can without destroying their shape. Then, perpendicular to the first cut, slice them in ½ cm (¼ inch) thick rounds – about the size of a French five-franc piece, an English fifty-pence piece or an Australian fifty-cent piece. Put the pieces on a plate and season well with salt and pepper.
In a shallow pan with sloping sides heat half the butter over a fierce heat. When the foam subsides put in half the seasoned kidneys. Let them sear throughly then turn them with a wooden spatula. They should be cooked in 4–5 minutes. Drain the kidneys in a colander placed over a bowl to catch the juices and blood that will run out. Repeat the operation, using the remaining butter to cook the rest of the kidneys, and when they are cooked add them to the first batch in the colander. Keep hot.
Now add the chopped shallots to the cooking juices in the pan, pour in the Calvados and scrape up the butter and juices with the wooden spatula. Don’t let the Calvados catch fire – that’s not the object of the exercise. When the shallot has softened in the juices and the Calvados, add the cream and boil for 2–3 minutes, whisking all the time.
Strain the sauce through a fine sieve placed over a clean saucepan, working it through with the spatula. Add the Dijon mustard and whisk again to mix it in thoroughly. Put the kidneys (2) into the sauce and heat through to just below boiling point. Taste for seasoning, add the chopped chervil and serve on hot plates.