So, tell me, how do you feel about offal? I quite like it. There are so many approaches to entrails, variety or organ meats … do you have a preference? It’s clearly a cultural thing. I grew up enjoying ‘saure Kutteln‘, which my room maid’s mother at university cooked to perfection. I’ve also always liked my own mother’s kidney recipe. And liver, be that chicken or veal, with fried apples and onion rings, has been and is a favorite.
Many years ago my husband called me from Belgium one night, asking, what are ‘rognons de veau’? He had ordered them that evening in a really nice restaurant and wasn’t entirely sure … kidneys? Yes! Then in 2008, we enjoyed the most delicious rognons de veau dish in Castelnaudary, Aude. Of course, being a cassoulet cook myself, I recognize Castelnaudary as the capital of authentic cassoulet. But trust me, that’s not all they cook to perfection there!
Recently, walking about our fair city of Saintes, we realized, how much we’d like to enjoy once more a dish of rognons de veau. An online restaurant research didn’t reveal any local restaurants with kidneys on their menu, so we asked the proprietress of our favorite bistro,
if she could, by any chance, possibly, wow, really? Isabelle, the owner of Le Grand Comptoir du Cours made it happen!
She asked her Chef, Luïc,
to prepare a very special rognons de veau dish for us. He used Vinho do Porto, port wine, for the sauce, which was a perfect match for our veal kidneys. Best ever! Did I mention that Isabel’s husband Jose is a French Citizens of Portuguese descent?
Loïc presented the kidneys on a galette (cookie) of raw, shredded potato, a latke, no less!
The main dish was paired with a delicious, rich bottle of Chateau Neuf du Pape, selected especially to complement our kidney preparation.
Mashed potatoes and a scoop of assorted fungus and root vegetable rounded out the dish.
The sauce – a perfect amalgamate of port wine and kidney.
Well done, Luïc, well done, indeed!
Unfortunately, afterward, we succumbed to the offer of a small, insignificant dessert …
… lemon tart with marshmallow topping and whipped cream, oh so divine!
Will I ever, EVER be able to walk it off? Not likely ……