Hal Holbrook's Braised Kidneys in Port
3 veal kidneys, peeled and trimmed of fat
1/2 tsp. salt
1/16 tsp. freshly ground pepper
6 tbsps. sweet butter
1 tbsp. minced shallots
1/2 bay leaf
Small piece lemon peel
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup Port (or Madeira) wine
1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tbsps. heavy cream
2 tsps. minced parsley
Cut kidneys into 1/4-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet (or chafing dish). Add kidneys, brown slowly on all sides about 10 minutes. Regulate the heat so butter is hot but does not discolor. Remove cooked kidneys to a heated platter.
Saute shallots for 1 minute. Return kidneys to skillet, add bay leaf, lemon peel, water and port wine. Cover and simmer slowly about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
In separate skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Saute mushrooms and remove to a heated platter. Stir flour into butter and blend well. Cook slowly for 1 minute over low heat, stirring. Add a little cooled stock to the browned flour. Stir to blend while cooking over low heat. Add sauce and mushrooms to the kidney mixture in skillet (or chafing dish). Remove from fire, stir in cream, heat over low flame, but do not boll. Correct seasonings.
Remove bay leaf and lemon peel. Serve at once over browned wild rice (cooked in consomme). Garnish with parsley. Serves 4 to 6.