During the year-long miners’ strike of 1984/85, many families suffered extreme hardship. Social security benefits were cut on the premise that miners were in receipt of strike pay. Like the government’s overarching policy on fossil fuel, this was a politically motivated decision, not an economic one. And it wasn’t true; the NUM pocket was almost empty, and were it not for fundraising efforts and soup kitchens many people, and children, would have gone hungry.
Offal is, and was, ridiculously cheap, with the added benefit of being packed full of protein, vitamins and all round goodness. Low in fat too. So in Public Battles, Private Wars Mandy and her team serve them up frequently. Here’s a recipe for those of you who, unlike me, are not of a squeamish or vegetarian disposition.
Devilled Kidneys (feeds four)
You will need:
4 pigs’ kidneys
2 level tablespoons of flour
Salt and pepper
50g/2oz of butter
1 medium-sized chopped onion
300ml or ½ pint of water
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 level teaspoons made mustard
2 teaspoon of tomato puree
1 level tablespoon of finely chopped parsley
4 slices of hot buttered toast
Skin and core the kidneys
Cut them into ½ cm or ¼ inch thick slices
Toss in flour seasoned with the salt and pepper
Melt butter in a saucepan, add the onion and fry till pale gold
Add kidneys and any remaining flour. Cook slowly for another 5 minutes, turning frequently
Combine the water with the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, puree and parsley and then pour into the pan
Cook slowly, stirring, till the mixture comes to the boil and thickens
Lower the heat and cover the pan. Simmer for 15 minutes
Serve on toast.