May 21 2007

Steak and Kidney Pie

I always cook the steak and kidney filling first, then make up the pie.

First I brown 500grms of diced beef skirt or chuck steak in hot oil, then remove from the pan into a heavy lidded casserole pot. Next I brown the chopped ox kidney, having made sure all sinew has been removed. The kidney goes in with the beef. I heat a little more oil and soften three fat, finely chopped shallots, add a piece of celery, a few chopped parsley stalks and a couple of rashers of streaky bacon. All these add to the depth of flavour of the finished pie. I sprinkle a tablespoon of flour into the pan, give it a stir, and add a spoonful of tomato puree, red wine and home made stock. As it comes to the boil, stirring briskly, I deglaze the pan, then simmer for a few minutes, pour over the meat, add a bay leaf, cover the pot and place in a moderate oven. I let it cook gently, stirring once or twice, for two and a half hours.

Cooking time will vary according to the quality of the beef. Don’t be tempted to boil hard, this will only toughen the meat. While it’s cooking I slice 350 gms of flat mushrooms and fry quickly in oil and a little butter.

When it has cooled a little I put the steak and kidney and the mushrooms into a pie dish filling to the brim. I have a little old pie funnel which I put in the centre to let out the steam.

Meanwhile you can make the flaky pastry if you’re really dedicated, I don’t! I buy ready made and enhance it with some extra butter, cheating I know, but so much quicker and really very effective. Simply roll out the pastry into a long strip, butter the centre section fold one third to the centre, butter again and fold again. Now roll out for the pie topping and as you do so, the extra butter will be spread throughout making a lighter flakier texture.

Next wet the edge of the pie dish and cut a strip of pastry to go around the edge of the dish. Put it in place and now wet this too. Roll out the remainder of the pastry till it’s a little larger than the dish; make a cut in the centre of the pastry for the funnel and, using the back of the rolling pin gently lift the pastry on to the pie. Lower it gently onto the edging strip being careful not to stretch it. Press down round the edge and, holding your knife at ninety degrees, trim off the excess. Now seal the edges with the prongs of a fork, or crimp with your finger and thumb.

Decorate your pie with traditional pastry flowers and leaves and brush with beaten egg. In days gone by when baking was done once a week the savoury pies were identified in the larder by their decoration. Put the pie in the ’fridge to rest the pastry, until you need it Bake in a hot oven until the pastry is crisp and golden, about thirty to forty minutes. Serve with boiled or mashed potatoes, buttery vegetables or a green salad.

One response so far

One Response to “Steak and Kidney Pie”

  1. Sue Williamson 14 Oct 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Sally,

    I am your cousin, Claudia’s, sister-in-law. She married my brother Ted a couple of years ago. Claudia introduced me to your website, Raining Sideways, some time ago and I just love it. Today I was craving steak and kidney pie and couldn’t find a recipe that struck my fancy and then I remembered your site and voila here I found a yummy looking recipe. I’m going to try it today. I have all the ingredients except for tomato paste, I suppose I could render down a ripe tomato and add a little ketchup to substitute!

    Thank you for your wonderfully informative and entertaining website.



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