9

votes

Beef Kidney: offal or awful?

Commented on March 25, 2015
Created March 31, 2011 at 12:57 AM

Hi All, I am interested in including beef kidney in my diet. I recently heard that (1) the protein quality of organ meats exceeds that of muscle meat; (2) that kidney contains large amounts of cholesterol(which I would look upon favorably); (3) that it is loaded with nutrients, especially the B vitamins. Has anyone out there experienced kidney? What are some downsides if any(so far I can see none). I have a source that can supply me with grass-fed beef kidneys for 25 cents/lb and would liek to snap up the offer in more ways than one(chortle...). I would like to make this a staple in my diet if possible given the aforesaid virtues. Taste doesn't matter to me, as I'm a stoical kind of guy. Any ideas on preparation-in-a-jiff? Any thoughts on kidney, specifically beef kidney?

7c3d561e57f060827f413f023c5f263e

on March 25, 2015
at 03:41 PM

Soak the kidneys in vinegar and water. I have read one part vinegar and two parts water. Seems a bit much. Perhaps, less vinegar would be okay. Some people say anywhere from twenty-minutes to over two-hours. Perhaps, the more dilute the vinegar soak, the longer time needed? 

I am surprised that you do not consider high cholesterol in the meat to be a concern. It is about twice the amount of cholesterol than steak, for example. Granted, some people have low cholesterol but, regardless, our arteries start clogging up when you are mere toddlers. What's the rush? I would pace myself with the meat, honestly. There are plenty of other organ meats that do not have the cholesterol claim-to-fame. 

Cb893ff469fdc4aa38e031dcf9d5a8a5

(55)

on November 07, 2013
at 08:32 PM

Wow, you have perfected the basics of South Indian cooking style :)

70c75942b975919dfbed8dddbd767b60

(289)

on June 18, 2013
at 10:42 PM

It the soaking before removing the white necessary? Have you tried soaking only after?

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 17, 2012
at 06:32 PM

What I can't figure out is why lamb kidneys are so delicious and yet (grass-fed) beef kidneys are barely edible (to my palate, anyway).

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 17, 2012
at 06:31 PM

Are you thinking lamb kidneys here? I thought lamb kidneys were marvelous, even just cooked gently in a bit of water. But as a general lover of offal, I still haven't found beef kidneys very palatable.

9ac8a7b68cf079b22de42b703e466e64

(787)

on April 17, 2011
at 04:41 AM

yeah that's what i figured. if i'm worrying about the fructose in onions, i think i'm at a good place dietarily. unless you have some protocol in which you need to strictly avoid all forms of fructose, i think the too much attention to the dietary intake (and avoidance) of an onion, a whole food none the less, causes more harm (stress...) than benefit. isn't that nutritionism at its worst?

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on April 16, 2011
at 07:08 PM

it's not THAT big of a deal, personman.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 15, 2011
at 03:10 PM

ALways good culinary advice from the womenfolk. I don't mind things that taste neutral, bad even...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 15, 2011
at 03:09 PM

kidney pie. What need to we have of foreign cuisine we good europeans...

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on April 15, 2011
at 09:49 AM

Hypervitaminosis A is only a potential problem if you're vitamin D deficient.

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on April 15, 2011
at 04:41 AM

yeah, you can always add it to hamburger meat, along with other offal. Do a nice spicy curry/stew in a slow cooker. Easy and should be very tasty.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on April 15, 2011
at 02:27 AM

Another thread someone said even their dogs won't eat the kidney. I'm with the dogs.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 15, 2011
at 02:24 AM

"cook the piss out of them" hehehe

7757eefbf5a2a4bc12e90015fc925db9

(125)

on April 02, 2011
at 12:57 AM

Even my 10 month old niece likes it! Eek, is this a -1?

F6019c693fc981657b1efa602298bc2d

(429)

on March 31, 2011
at 08:41 PM

i strongly suggest masking the flavor with lots of spices! maybe like 10 garlic cloves haha.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on March 31, 2011
at 08:14 PM

Ughhh this scares me because I just bought two grassfed kidneys and I already barely gulp down the liver. Haha... I think this might go to my cat.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 31, 2011
at 05:07 PM

That's not a bad idea...I was just dumping them in a pan and frying them and then eating them straight.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on March 31, 2011
at 08:30 AM

add some salt to the milk solution for soaking before cooking - it helps draw out the impurities and the smell as you advise.

065bc9a541c742defb28b9c58ad34fbd

(1783)

on March 31, 2011
at 04:53 AM

Travis, do you soak your kidneys in anything beforehand? I have a cookbook that recommends soaking kidneys in lemon juice before cooking - would this reduce the pissy-ness? I have some veal kidneys in the freezer that I'd like to try one of these days.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 31, 2011
at 04:32 AM

+1 for a thread about offal.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 31, 2011
at 04:24 AM

So I will become a guinea pig until symptoms(and which ones I wonder) arise...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 31, 2011
at 04:23 AM

Caramelized onions= caramelized fructose?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 31, 2011
at 04:22 AM

Some PALEOS have said that Vit D can counter-act the effect(mechanism of action, absorption??) of Vit A and that it is about balancing these nutrients(and possibly in tandem with Vit K). There surely is alimit though and what that would be would be desirable to find out.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 31, 2011
at 04:20 AM

Thats fine thanks for the warnings on the taste factor(I will hold my nose). I suppose i will have to wing it and make myself a guinea pig!

F6019c693fc981657b1efa602298bc2d

(429)

on March 31, 2011
at 02:54 AM

i have been looking for any info about the affects of having such a high concentration of minerals and vitamins on a daily basis, but i haven't found much, so i am curious if anyone here knows.

F6019c693fc981657b1efa602298bc2d

(429)

on March 31, 2011
at 02:24 AM

i up voted you because that offal sausage recipe sounds killer. thanks!

F6019c693fc981657b1efa602298bc2d

(429)

on March 31, 2011
at 02:07 AM

you mean 2-6oz servings a day? 12oz of either liver or kidney seems like a bit much to me.. i would maybe eat that much twice a week, but im not a huge fan of the taste. i don't know tooooo much about the micronutrient profiles of either one, so i can't really say if you would be exceeding any daily limits. sorry i can't be of more help.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 31, 2011
at 01:49 AM

-1 for the non-relevant response(haha)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 31, 2011
at 01:48 AM

I haven't yet eaten it but I have eaten alot of things in my time...Do you forsee any micronutirent excesses with a 2-per-day serving of 6 oz.s? Liver at 6 oz. per day?

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on March 31, 2011
at 01:00 AM

+1 for the pun.

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16 Answers

7
7757eefbf5a2a4bc12e90015fc925db9

(125)

on March 31, 2011
at 02:07 AM

I've only had it once, and I actually thought it was pretty good. I just sliced it kind of thin and fried it in bacon grease as well. But there is that "farmy" smell and after taste. My new tactic for all offal is to grind it up, mix with ground muscle meat and lots of spice for offal sausage. And that's good stuff! There's a little prep in the beginning, but quick and easy to fry up later.

As far as micro-nutrients, the only thing that I might be concerned about is selenium.

F6019c693fc981657b1efa602298bc2d

(429)

on March 31, 2011
at 02:24 AM

i up voted you because that offal sausage recipe sounds killer. thanks!

7757eefbf5a2a4bc12e90015fc925db9

(125)

on April 02, 2011
at 12:57 AM

Even my 10 month old niece likes it! Eek, is this a -1?

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on April 15, 2011
at 04:41 AM

yeah, you can always add it to hamburger meat, along with other offal. Do a nice spicy curry/stew in a slow cooker. Easy and should be very tasty.

3
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on March 31, 2011
at 07:58 AM

If you soak the chopped kidney in either milk or bak,ing powder mixed with water for 20 - 30 minutes, the urine smell reduces to vanishing point.

If you like curry, try this

About 1 tablespoon lard and an ounce of butter. Around 1 lb kidneys, sliced in half, the cores removed, any membrane on the outside removed, and cut into bite sized cubes. 2 small onions, chopped. 2 cloves garlic, crushed, inch piece of ginger scrubbed and chopped, quarter teaspoon chili powder, teaspoon turmeric, teaspoon ground coriander, half teaspoon ground cumin, half teaspoon salt, half teaspoon ground black pepper, tablespoon coconut milk (add more at end of cooking if it seems too dry - it is meant to be a fairly dry curry), tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro).

Heat lard and butter until melted. Add onions and cook until softened and golden. Stir in garlic and ginger, fry for one minute, then add the spices and fry for one minute more. Now add the kidneys, salt, pepper and coconut milk and cook about 15 - 20 minutes until the kidneys are tender. Stir in the chopped coriander and serve.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on March 31, 2011
at 08:30 AM

add some salt to the milk solution for soaking before cooking - it helps draw out the impurities and the smell as you advise.

Cb893ff469fdc4aa38e031dcf9d5a8a5

(55)

on November 07, 2013
at 08:32 PM

Wow, you have perfected the basics of South Indian cooking style :)

2
7b10df82f882dc7e37b6afbf76381bfd

on February 22, 2013
at 01:18 AM

I got my kidneys with my Jersey steer. I have butchered before, but never had the kidneys. I de-fatted them & soaked them whole in cold milk for a day. Then I split them, removed all the white part inside, which required cutting them into smaller sections. Basically, I had just the red & red-brown meat lobes left. I soaked all the lobes in fresh milk for 3 days. Tonight, I took some seasoned flour, dredged 2 lobes and lightly sauteed them in bacon fat. They were delicious. No piss flavor/smell at all. I went ahead and did the same with about 10 ounces of lobes. I threw them onto a mesclun salad topped with fresh tomatoes & raw onion. It was spectacular. They reminded me & my wife of chicken gizzards without the toothy crunch of the cartilage. The flavor was really quite mild when we were expecting something strong. The texture was unusual, but I preferred it to gizzards because of the tenderness. We were needless to say WAY IMPRESSED. So, my suggestion, soak your kids, clean & remove all the white (which I believe is the vessel for the pee) and soak again. It works & We will eat them again!

70c75942b975919dfbed8dddbd767b60

(289)

on June 18, 2013
at 10:42 PM

It the soaking before removing the white necessary? Have you tried soaking only after?

2
Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 15, 2011
at 02:23 AM

beef kidney is one of the strongest kidney flavors there is. Lamb kidney is much more desirable. Veal kidneys are also excellent! beef kidney is an older kidney and it will, indeed taste of the barnyard. I like to make mine with lots of mushrooms and parsley and embrace the barnyard flavor with a nice bottle of appropriate red wine. (I'd go with a mineral driven medium bodied red) My husband thought it tasted like we were mucking the stalls. I loved it. But lamb and veal kidneys are much much lighter flavoured and an absolute delight! they should not be overcooked, they should be a bit pink inside.

Sometimes it's good, if you eat dairy, to soak your liver or kidneys in milk for a few hours to mellow it out a bit.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 15, 2011
at 03:10 PM

ALways good culinary advice from the womenfolk. I don't mind things that taste neutral, bad even...

2
9ac8a7b68cf079b22de42b703e466e64

(787)

on March 31, 2011
at 03:06 AM

I made it for the first time this week. I soaked it in salt water for 30 minutes, trimmed it of its membrane (the white part in the middle), and quickly fried it in butter with some seasonings, fresh garlic and caramelized onions. It definitely was a quick and easy way to cook it. You could easy expand, adding vegetables of your choice... It didn't have any funk in the smell or the taste, which I was very worried about. Overall, I'm definitely having it again. You should buy it at that price.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 31, 2011
at 04:23 AM

Caramelized onions= caramelized fructose?

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on April 16, 2011
at 07:08 PM

it's not THAT big of a deal, personman.

9ac8a7b68cf079b22de42b703e466e64

(787)

on April 17, 2011
at 04:41 AM

yeah that's what i figured. if i'm worrying about the fructose in onions, i think i'm at a good place dietarily. unless you have some protocol in which you need to strictly avoid all forms of fructose, i think the too much attention to the dietary intake (and avoidance) of an onion, a whole food none the less, causes more harm (stress...) than benefit. isn't that nutritionism at its worst?

2
090f2b8054d2201cd3a2fbc6bfb6932a

on March 31, 2011
at 02:07 AM

Hi PersonMan, I have only recently tried beef kidney, myself. After many years as a lover of liver, I'd say, in short, that kidney is not the new liver and I rate it only as "all right". Although it could be my lack of experience in preparing it, I did find the consistency a little different from liver, in the bad way. Still, I have tried it a couple of more times and found that, unlike liver which is best not cooked too much, the kidney didn't seem to suffer from a longer cooking time and, in fact, tasted better for it. Further, I enjoyed lamb kidney more than beef, but perhaps that was only because I prepared it better.

In either case, the kidney was sauteed over medium heat with some salt, pepper, and onion, Worchestershire sauce and mushrooms, all in butter or coconut oil. Eventually, a bit of red wine was added to create a sauce and it all came out just fine.

As regards nutrients, either macro or micro, I'm not too familiar with kidney and would appreciate illumination on that issue, too.

Juan

1
C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

on April 16, 2011
at 05:01 PM

Here is how I make it not be awful: broil pieces of bacon with chopped shallots, then put the (pasture fed) slices of beef kidney on top. Broil briefly (for medium rare) and the broiled bacon and shallots will fuse onto the underside. Flip the whole thing over and give it a brief broiling on the other side- bacon and shallot side up now- lets the yummy juices seep down- then I take it out of the broiler, add a little salt and black pepper, and eat! I did not used to like it, but this tastes good. Probably all that bacon and shallot.

1
D0578c3826123f66a80b034cd3e78816

(565)

on April 15, 2011
at 02:16 AM

Kidneys are delicious and have a great texture! They're like a milder version of liver. Just soak it in a brine for a few hours beforehand, that's what I do.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 17, 2012
at 06:31 PM

Are you thinking lamb kidneys here? I thought lamb kidneys were marvelous, even just cooked gently in a bit of water. But as a general lover of offal, I still haven't found beef kidneys very palatable.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 15, 2011
at 02:09 AM

My husband whines for steak and kidney pie from time to time- my friend Jean said to cook the kidneys in good red wine not water, and another friend said to just put them in a pot and cook the piss out of them!

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 15, 2011
at 02:24 AM

"cook the piss out of them" hehehe

1
Medium avatar

on March 31, 2011
at 04:12 AM

Smells and tastes like piss; no getting around that. Really nutrient dense however. I was eating 1-2 kidneys a day for a while there on non-liver days, but I think I'd rather just eat more liver and take my chances with hypervitaminosis A.

065bc9a541c742defb28b9c58ad34fbd

(1783)

on March 31, 2011
at 04:53 AM

Travis, do you soak your kidneys in anything beforehand? I have a cookbook that recommends soaking kidneys in lemon juice before cooking - would this reduce the pissy-ness? I have some veal kidneys in the freezer that I'd like to try one of these days.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 31, 2011
at 05:07 PM

That's not a bad idea...I was just dumping them in a pan and frying them and then eating them straight.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 31, 2011
at 04:24 AM

So I will become a guinea pig until symptoms(and which ones I wonder) arise...

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on April 15, 2011
at 09:49 AM

Hypervitaminosis A is only a potential problem if you're vitamin D deficient.

1
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on March 31, 2011
at 02:34 AM

It looks like they have over 100% RDA - for a 3 oz serving - in selenium, b12, riboflavin, protein, and cholesterol. They are also high in a diverse array of several other vitamins and minerals. Check it out:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/3467/2

F6019c693fc981657b1efa602298bc2d

(429)

on March 31, 2011
at 02:54 AM

i have been looking for any info about the affects of having such a high concentration of minerals and vitamins on a daily basis, but i haven't found much, so i am curious if anyone here knows.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 31, 2011
at 04:22 AM

Some PALEOS have said that Vit D can counter-act the effect(mechanism of action, absorption??) of Vit A and that it is about balancing these nutrients(and possibly in tandem with Vit K). There surely is alimit though and what that would be would be desirable to find out.

1
F6019c693fc981657b1efa602298bc2d

(429)

on March 31, 2011
at 01:35 AM

hmmm, i tried my first grass fed beef kidney about 2 weeks ago. it was pretty brutal taste wise... and the rest of my family hated me for cooking it in the house haha. it tastes very similar to liver but has a 'farmy' aspect to it. kind of like the way a barn full of animals smells haha. i got pretty turned off while cooking it because it smelled so awful, but thought i'd try it anyway. i had one little piece and couldn't get past the farmy barnyard taste. thankfully my dad ate the rest, so it wasn't wasted. i pan fried it in bacon grease which helped the flavor a little, but all in all i think i'll stick with liver haha. good luck man. since you don't care about taste then i say go for it since it's super cheap!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 31, 2011
at 04:20 AM

Thats fine thanks for the warnings on the taste factor(I will hold my nose). I suppose i will have to wing it and make myself a guinea pig!

F6019c693fc981657b1efa602298bc2d

(429)

on March 31, 2011
at 02:07 AM

you mean 2-6oz servings a day? 12oz of either liver or kidney seems like a bit much to me.. i would maybe eat that much twice a week, but im not a huge fan of the taste. i don't know tooooo much about the micronutrient profiles of either one, so i can't really say if you would be exceeding any daily limits. sorry i can't be of more help.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 31, 2011
at 01:48 AM

I haven't yet eaten it but I have eaten alot of things in my time...Do you forsee any micronutirent excesses with a 2-per-day serving of 6 oz.s? Liver at 6 oz. per day?

F6019c693fc981657b1efa602298bc2d

(429)

on March 31, 2011
at 08:41 PM

i strongly suggest masking the flavor with lots of spices! maybe like 10 garlic cloves haha.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on March 31, 2011
at 08:14 PM

Ughhh this scares me because I just bought two grassfed kidneys and I already barely gulp down the liver. Haha... I think this might go to my cat.

0
A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on November 11, 2013
at 03:00 AM

I've had lamb kidney, but never beef kidney. I eat kidney from time to time even thought I REALLY find it tastes awful. Soak it in saltwater for a few hours before cooking, trim away the ureters, slice in half langthwise and dice, sautee them in your favorite paleo-approved oil, and serve them with a very palatable sauce.

0
C95af01481648aa6f4ef57638bf38e71

on November 07, 2013
at 07:54 PM

Preparation goes like this::

Cut out all the white parts .

Slice the kidney to 1/8 segment +-

Place them in BOILING water for 10 min.

Throw the water and rinse the kidney in fresh water.

Discard the water and place the kidney to milk for 2-3 hours.

That will take care of any smell.

Cooking:

Cut onion to small section and slightly brown it with bacon.

Add kidney, ground pepper, caraway seeds, powder red paprika and braise for 45 min.(Red wine optional)

On the end add salt and some flour.

Serve with rice or pasta.

0
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on April 16, 2011
at 06:23 PM

I soaked veal kidneys in salted water, sliced, dried, cut out the membrane (saved that nice organ fat for my tallow bucket), fried in bacon fat, with onions. Crumbled the bacon on top. Ate pretty much all of it. Will never do it again (I only finished it because I'm a frugal caveman).

Bacon + Onions + Liver + Urine = Beef Kidneys

0
02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on April 15, 2011
at 04:46 AM

I don't know much about this, but I'd definitely look at lots of old world recipes for answers. As someone mentioned, the French have ways of reducing the odor. Check out some Indian and Thai curries. The problem, of course, is that most Americans don't touch offal and so these recipes might be hard to find in English. If you have friends/relatives of friends from other countries, you could try hitting them up. I remember a Pakistani classmate of mine back in college who suggested making goat brain curry from the goat's head we had left over after a bbq. Never got around to doing that, and I ended up throwing the head away after it went bad. I still feel bad about that.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 15, 2011
at 03:09 PM

kidney pie. What need to we have of foreign cuisine we good europeans...

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