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 


6 lamb kidneys 

6 lamb sweetbreads 

4 really woody stems of rosemary 

4 crushed cloves of garlic 

A good splash of olive oil 


4 teaspoon of coriander seeds 

4 teaspoon of caraway seeds 

2 teaspoon of cumin seeds 

6 large red chilli chopped ( leave the seeds in! I’m watching!)

6 cloves garlic chopped 

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

Good splash of olive oil 


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

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 

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

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

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

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

Keep the Rosemary stalks, we’ll use these to skewer the kidneys and sweetbreads 

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

You can now make your harissa 

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

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

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

Add a good pinch of salt and your harissa is ready 

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 

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

Season them with a good pinch of salt 

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 



Written by Jon Fell

Head Chef Rosehill Theatre, Chef on the Simply Good Food TV app, run a Seafood Cookery Class at Peter Sidwell Cookery School, Newspaper food columnist

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