James Caan's Kidney Stew
1 1/2 lbs. veal or lamb kidneys
4 tbsps. salad oil, divided
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, pressed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp. tomato catsup
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (more if desired)
1/3 cup brandy (or Kirsch)
Hot, cooked, peeled potatoes
Fresh minced parsley
Remove most of the fat, central fat and white tubes from the kidneys, and remove all of the outer membrane. Wash kidneys carefully in running water; soak them in well-salted water about 30 minutes, changing water once (to remove the strong flavor). Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsps. salad oil over low flame, adding onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until onion is lightly golden. Remove kidneys from water; dry well on absorbent toweling; slice kidney into 1/2-inch slices. Brown sliced kidney quickly in remaining salad oil in separate skillet until meat begins to turn white. Add sauteed kidneys to onion-garlic mixture; stir in salt, pepper to taste, tomato catsup and Worcestershire sauce; simmer over low fire a few minutes. Pour brandy (or Kirsch) into a ladle that is hot (or hold ladle with brandy briefly over the burner). Pour heated spirits over the kidneys and flame. Do not flame longer than 1 minute or kidneys will toughen. Serve at once with hot, cooked, peeled potatoes garnished with fresh minced parsley. Serves 4.
Thoughts: James Caan's father, Arthur, advises, "The whole dish is a short process thing! If desired, use dry red wine (adding during the last 2 minutes of cooking). If desired, more spirits may be added to thin down the gravy."