Bowl of Kidneys in Madeira Sauce
(click to enlarge)

Kidneys in Madeira Sauce
  -   Pochki v Madere
6 app  
2 hr  

This intensely flavorful dish is famous in Russia as a zakuska (appetizer) dish, and justly so. With a few more potatoes it also makes a very fine main dish. It takes a little attention to make, but is well worth it. This dish reheats well if the sauce is fairly loose, you keep the heat low low, and you used the right potatoes.

Beef Kidneys (1)
Potatoes (2)
Butter (more)
Madeira (3)
Stock (4)
-- Garnish
Parsley, chopped  
Prep   -   (1 hr)
  1. From BEEF KIDNEYS, remove all membranes and any obvious plumbing. Carefully trim off all the fat (a few small flakes won't hurt). For detailed istructions see our Beef / Veal Kidneys page.
  2. Slice Kidneys about 1/4 inch thick and soak for about 1/2 hour in several changes of cold water.
  3. Slice MUSHROOMS about 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Peel POTATOES and cut into about 3/4 inch cubes. Put them in a saucepan with water to cover, bring to a boil and simmer until just cooked through. Drain.
Run   -   (1-1/4 hr)
  1. Drain Kidneys very thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Mix together Flour, Salt and Pepper. Dredge Kidney Slices in the Flour mix to coat very lightly - emphasis on "very ligtly" - too much and you will have too much sauce and it will be week in flavor.
  3. In a spacious sauté pan melt 1/4 cup Butter. Stir in Mushrooms and fry stirring over fairly high heat just until they start exuding moisture, about 4 minutes. Remove them to a bowl.
  4. In the same pan, melt the other 1/4 cup Butter and bring it up until it just starts to brown. Stir in the Kidneys and fry stirring almost constantly over very high heat until all water they exude has evaporated and they start to brown. Make very sure the substantial fond that forms in the bottom of the pan does not burn at all - it should remain a reddish brown. If it looks too dark, stop, even if the kidneys show no browning. Add the Kidneys to the Mushrooms.
  5. Pour about 1/2 the Madeira into the pan and keep it over low heat, scraping the pan with a wooden spatula until all the fond has dissolved. Stir in the rest of the Madeira and the Stock.
  6. Return Kidneys and Mushrooms to the pan. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, keeping the pan covered or uncovered to regulate the consistency of the sauce. It should be fairly lose because it still has to coat the Potatoes.
  7. Just before serving, stir in the Potatoes and simmer until they are warmed through. Check Sauce for seasoning (it may need a little more salt).
  8. Serve hot, garnished with chopped Parsley.
  1. Beef Kidneys   These can be pretty hard to find in supermarkets these days, but markets serving a Russian or Eastern European community are a good bet. For details see our Beef / Veal Kidneys page.
  2. Potatoes:   The pattern recipe calls for tiny new potatoes, boiled and peeled, but I seldom have those on hand - so I peel and cut up White Rose potatoes. Avoid "Yukon Gold" type potatoes which tend to turn to mush if overcooked even a little. For details see our Potatoes page.
  3. Madeira: It is the light colored Madeira that is used for cooking, not the deep red of "Have a glass of Madeira, my dear" fame. San Antonio Winery makes a suitable light colored California Madeira.
  4. Stock:   Either beef or chicken stock can be used..
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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