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Lamb Kidneys and Sweetbreads with Harissa

I love kidneys, for some reason you don't see them on menus these days, unless there teamed up with beef in a pie, nothing wrong with that, but you can be more adventurous with them, in this recipe I've paired them up with sweetbreads, lamb sweet breads, sweetbreads have become very fashionable amongst the cheffy fraternity, cheffed up to the max in a multitude of different guises, but I think this recipe keeps the two main ingredients the star

I'm going to serve the skewers with some homemade harissa, you can get this in jars in the supermarket, but why would you when it's a doddle to make your own?

The recipe will serve 4 people


  1. 6 lamb kidneys

  2. 6 lamb sweetbreads

  3. 4 really woody stems of rosemary

  4. 4 crushed cloves of garlic

  5. A good splash of olive oil


  1. 4 teaspoon of coriander seeds

  2. 4 teaspoon of caraway seeds

  3. 2 teaspoon of cumin seeds

  4. 6 large red chilli chopped ( leave the seeds in! I'm watching!)

  5. 6 cloves garlic chopped

  6. 1 small jar of piquillo peppers (you can get them in a supermarket)

  7. Good splash of olive oil


  1. First thing we need to do is soak the sweetbreads in cold water, preferably over night, change the water a couple of times

  2. Put your sweetbreads into a pan of fresh clean water with a good pinch of salt, bring to the boil, simmer for 1 minute, now remove and place into a bowl of iced water

  3. Cut your lambs kidneys into two, carefully remove the white core

  4. Place your kidneys into a bowl, remove the sweetbreads from the iced water, dry with kitchen towel and add them to the bowl

  5. Add a really good splash of olive oil and the crushed garlic

  6. Strip the leaves from the Rosemary, add the leaves to the bowl

  7. Keep the Rosemary stalks, we'll use these to skewer the kidneys and sweetbreads

  8. Add a good pinch of pepper to the bowl, mix and allow to marinate for a couple of hours

  9. You can now make your harissa

  10. Put the seeds of the spices in a pan and gently toast them, don't have the Heat to high or you'll burn them

  11. Tip the toasted seeds into a food processor and blitz to a powder

  12. Now add all the other harissa ingredients and blitz until you have a paste

  13. Add a good pinch of salt and your harissa is ready

  14. You can store this in the fridge for a couple of weeks and use at another time, it's great with all kinds of meat

  15. Now take your kidneys and sweetbreads from the marinade and carefully thread them on to the Rosemary stalks

  16. Season them with a good pinch of salt

  17. Now if we ever get the weather! These are great cooked on the barbecue!! But alas I think we may be waiting a while, so heat a griddle pan and cook the skewers for 2-3 minutes on each side

I like mine still a little pink, but this is entirely up to you

Serve on a warm plate with a good dollop of the harissa

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