A couple of nights ago I had the pleasure of being cooked for. Some people experience that often enough, especially if they visit restaurants regularly, so it is nothing unusual in itself. It is however usual that those I cook for await coffee as a spice in an uncommon context. This time around I had the pleasure of getting the treat myself. A Lady who spent several years in South Africa and had told me about the inclusion of coffee in savoury meals, spent a couple of hours preparing a meal I shall never forget.
Kidneys and inner organs in generall do not possess the quality of taste which seduces me. I do not like this intensified taste of blood and waste in such pungent manner that other pungent things seem mild in comparison. Furthermore, with its function, it is not something I crave for as food. However, there are three different ingredients here which make an amazing contribution towards making this likely unpleasant kidney taste more pleasurable – ale, coffee and beef.
It seems to me that when you put several dark things together – in this case, blood, ale, coffee and beef – they do not bring more darkness. Instead they harmonize in a way that darkness seems to be better composed, seems to be a more colorful absence of light and to be more poetry for the palate in what seems to be merely shades of brown for the eyes.
Because I did not cook, this is not about the detailed process of the cooking, but more a basic list for those who might want to play with its possibilities.
- 400 g stewing steak
- 100 g lamb kidneys
- some onions
- beef stock
- 25 ml ale or stout
- some sage, some rosemary
- 2 tablespoons of coffee
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
Prepare all the ingredients in a large pan. It could be eaten as a pie or with potatoes, pasta or rice. We ate it as a pie with mashed potatoes with radish. Wonderful!!!