A week or so ago I was shopping at SuperU and I was surprised to see that there was a tray of lamb kidneys on offer in the butcher counter display case. Rognons d'agneau are a specialty I've enjoyed, though not frequently, since the 1970s. I can't remember who cooked them for me back then — they are not something I would have bought and cooked for myself at the age of 25. Anyway, I went back to SuperU on Monday and the butcher prepared six lamb kidneys for me. They cost me a little less than four euros and weighed 11 oz. (330g).
I'll spare you all the photos of the preparation of the kidneys for cooking and just focus on the finished dish. What I made was based on a recipe I found for rognons d'agneau à la berrichonne — Berry-style lamb kidneys. I'd never cooked them this way before. The kidneys were flavorful but not gamey, and their liver-like texture was perfect. They were cooked but not overcooked — rosé is the French term for lamb cooked medium-rare. I decided not to put in the mushrooms that the French recipe called for.
The sauce for these rognons d'agneau is made with red wine and smoked pork lardons, along with onion, garlic, herbs, and spices. I don't understand why lardons are not sold and eaten in North America. Especially in the South, vegetables and stews are often flavored with salt-cured pork or smoked bacon. Here in France, the pork is very lean and the flavor lardons give to sauces and dishes is delicious. They come in plain, smoked, or salt-cured forms, but I nearly always use lardons fumés.