Mustard Devilled Kidneys

In Edwardian times (early 1900’s) mustard devilled kidneys were a favourite breakfast of the English gentleman and now it’s time for a revival of this wonderfully spicy start to the day!

Devilled Kidneys Grilling Image

Why are they referred to as devilled kidneys? Well it's actually down to the spice content which I guess must be the work of the devil.  Moreover that spice is typically mustard, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper although in addition I've pepped mine up a little with some smoked paprika. Another option you might want to include is a splash of Tabasco.

Unfortunately lambs kidneys are the most expensive but these are really the only kidneys that will give us that distinctive shape in small bite sized pieces. The cheaper and more common kidneys (that you will find in a steak and kidney pie for example) are ox, calf and pigs, all of which are much larger and therefore not appropriate for this recipe.

Nutritionally speaking there's lots to say in favour of kidneys. They are super high in potassium, vitamin B12 (folic acid), vitamin A, vitamin D and a great source of protein too.

Buying Kidney

Kidney is offal or organ meat. Every organ performs a function in the body and the job of the kidney is to filter toxins out of the blood which are then excreted through urine.

It follows that the better (more naturally) the animal was fed when alive the better quality meat you're going to eat so always buy offal where you know the source. Don't buy kidneys from your supermarket.

A butcher will generally store kidneys still within the carcass of the animal, removing them when requested and still retaining much of the caul fat. If you see kidneys that are still encased in fat then this is usually a good sign regarding provenance.

How To Prepare Kidney

The first job is to remove any caul fat surrounding the kidneys, just peel it away.

Cut the kidney in half along its length to give two lobes. You'll notice three things:

  1. There's a membrane surrounding the kidney, remove as much as this as possible because the membrane will cause the kidney to curl when cooked.
  2. Each kidney lobe has a white core (you will have cut through this to halve the kidney) and this needs removing because it is chewy in texture and bitter in taste. Use a set of kitchen scissors to snip each of the tubes as deep into the kidney as possible and then use a small sharp knife to cut out the core leaving the kidney lobe as far intact as possible.
  3. The kidney has a slight ammonia smell & sometimes this can translate into the flavour of the kidney too. This is the harsh reality of what the kidney does a lot of the time in the animal, it filters uric acid. You can remove this smell by soaking the lobes of kidney in milk for for 6 hours before cooking.
Image Devilled Lambs Kidneys Preparation

Serves:- 4 people

Preparation Time:- 20 minutes
Cooking Time:- 15 minutes

Total Time:- 35 minutes


  • 6 lambs kidneys
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt


Trim any excess fat away from the kidneys. Take a sharp knife and halve the kidneys length-ways, remove the white core and any membrane.

Mix up the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and using a pastry brush paint the top of the kidneys.

Place a barbecue mat on the grill and lay the mustard devilled kidneys paint side down on the grill and follow up by painting the mustard sauce on the other side of the kidneys.

It depends how you like your kidneys as to how long to cook them for. I like mine a little pink inside so I use a hot grill and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side but go for 10 if you like them well done.

Feel free to paint on more mustard sauce during the cookout. You can also give the remains of the mustard sauce a quick 30 second blast in the microwave to warm it through and paint your mustard devilled kidneys with a final top coat before serving on hot buttered toast.

Related Pages:-

Tapas Appetizers
Barbecue Lamb Recipes
Barbecue Accessories

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