Kidney Stew Provencal

Preparation:

4 kidneys (lamb, goat or pork)
2 onions or 4 – 8  shallots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2-3 medium dark skinned potatoes (or 1 – 2 parsnips)
10  dry Shitaki mushroom:  remove stems, grind to powder.  Soak caps 30 minutes
bacon strips, cut into pieces
15 black olives
olive oil
thyme, pepper
flour
red wine
milk

Chinese Herbs:
1 oz dang shen (codonopsis spp.)  cut into bite size pieces
½ oz huang qi (astragalus spp.)  pre-sliced
1 oz shan yao (dioscorea opposita) Chinese Yam  break into pieces
(or just use Fuling  powder ( poria cocos) China Root—see below*)

Slice kidneys lengthwise and take the hard membranes from the inside, discard.  Cut kidneys into bite size pieces and soak in milk for 1 hour.

Rinse with water and set aside for the last 20 minutes of cooking.

Saute the onions in olive oil with dry thyme and pepper.

Add the bacon and olives.

Add a handful of any kind of flour (or Fuling powder*)- my favorite is chestnut – and mushroom stem powder, make a roux by mixing with the oil produced by the bacon.

Add some wine to coat everything (a cup or so). Add vegetables and Chinese herbs and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat to a simmer.  Simmer 1.5 hours on low. Add a little water or wine if necessary as things cook. Add kidneys and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Energetics:

Kidney, Yin tonic.  Tonifies the vital and critical energy of the body.  Strengthens bones, muscles, blood. Benefits the Heart, Lungs, Liver, Spleen and Stomach.  Increases production of semen. Regulates blood, menstruation, hormones, menopause.  Tonifies uterus.  Relieves congestion of tissues in the pelvic girdle. Lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol.  Stimulates immune system.  Calms the spirit.

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