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PREP: 3.33 Hours COOK: 60 Minutes

Serves 4-6

Difficulty: Advanced
If you thought kidneys were just an afterthought, think again. Chef Brian gives us the inspiration we need to turn kidneys into a virtuous delicacy. Prepared with several steps involved, smoked to perfection, and enjoyed as an appetizer or snack. Mahalo Chef Brian!
  • 1 pack of venison kidneys
  • 1 12” baguette, cut into 1/2” thick slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded swiss or gruyere cheese
  • Brine Solution Ingredients (see below)
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp kosher salt 
  • 2 Tbsp pink curing salt 
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 Tbsp pickling spice
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Step 1 :

In a small stainless bowl or container, mix all of the brine solution ingredients and chill in the freezer until the brine solution reaches 40° F (approx 2 hours).

Step 2:

Meanwhile, rinse kidneys off in cold water, remove the white artery, and pat dry.

Step 3:

Then soak kidneys in brine solution in the refrigerator for at least 3 days (this will help to leach excess blood and cure them at the same time).

Step 4:

After the third day, remove kidneys from the brine, pat dry, and lay them on a wire rack uncovered overnight in the refrigerator. This will allow the kidneys to form a pellicle, or sticky surface, which will allow for better smoking.

Step 5:

Set up the smoker or wood-burning grill to hot smoke. The goal is to create smoke and indirect heat while maintaining a temperature range between 160-180° F.

Step 6:

Hot smoke for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the level of smoke flavor you want. Be careful not to cook the kidneys all the way through, as this will result in a dry end product.

Step 7:

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours.

Step 8:

To prepare the appetizers, brush olive oil onto baguette slices and toast at 250° F for 10-12 minutes.

Step 9:

Top each baguette with Dijon mustard, cheese, sliced smoked kidneys, and pickled peppers. Smoked kidney slices can also be enjoyed as a snack!

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