At MeatEater we believe in using as much of our deer as possible. The kidneys are no exception. While these odd bits certainly aren’t for everyone, it’s good to try things at least once. If you’ve never had kidney before, a classic British kidney pie is a good introduction because it’s mixed with savory venison stew meat and braised in a rich brown gravy.
Time to make
1 1/2 lb. venison stew meat
2 deer kidneys
1/4 cup flour
1 large yellow onion, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
4 oz. mushrooms, chopped
2 cups beef or venison stock
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried thyme or rosemary
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8-inch pie dough or puff pastry sheet
1 egg, beaten
Also works with
Bear, goose, turkey thighs, or jackrabbit
Dutch oven, pie dish
- Cut off any fat from around the kidneys and cut them into chunks by trimming away the meat from the tendons. To tone down the aroma and offal taste, soak the kidneys in three teaspoons of lemon juice and two teaspoons of salt dissolved in two cups of water. Before cooking, drain the water and pat the kidneys dry.
- Roughly chop the venison stew meat into 1 to 2-inch pieces.
- Preheat a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add a glug of oil to the pan and brown the venison stew meat and kidney. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Remove the meat and set aside.
- Pour in additional oil if needed and toss in the mushrooms. Cook for several minutes until they begin to brown, then add the onions. Reduce the heat as necessary to ensure nothing burns on the bottom of the pan.
- When the onions are soft and translucent, add the carrots. Cook an additional 3-5 minutes, and then sprinkle in the flour. Stir so that all the ingredients get coated with flour, and then pour in the stock, constantly stirring to avoid clumping.
- Incorporate the Worcestershire, thyme, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, let the stew simmer for 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender and the liquids have reduced into a gravy-like sauce. Taste and season with extra salt or pepper if needed. While the stew is simmering, pre-heat an oven to 400 degrees.
- Transfer the mixture into a pie dish and allow it to cool.
- Roll out the pie dough and lay it across the dish. Use a sharp knife to cut slits into the pie dough to allow steam to release. You can also crimp the edges of the dough with your fingers or a fork. Brush the top of the dough with the egg wash.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Serve immediately while hot.