Steak and Kidney Pie

Posted By Stephen

It’s been a while since we’ve made any sort of pie other than cottage pie, and as we’ve had to much wintery weather lately, we decided that today would be a good day for it. As it was, the weather turned out to be rather nice, but we were so excited at the prospect of making (and of course eating!) a delicious pie that we stuck with our original plan.

We chose steak and kidney pie and were very pleased to find that The River Cottage MEAT Book had a recipe for it. The recipe made rather a large pie, to serve six, but as we only own a rather large pie dish, that worked out fine for us. After flouring and browning 1kg of braising steak and 400g of kidneys and softening half a chopped onion, we simmered the mixture with a glass of red wine, 750ml of beef stock, a tablespoon of tomato puree (for some reason Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall specifies tomato ketchup here…), a teaspoon of English mustard, salt and pepper and a bay leaf for an hour and a half.

Once the mixture had simmered and cooled, we ladled the meat into our pie dish and poured in some of the liquid, but not all. (We are thinking of keeping the rest of the liquid and turning it into some sort of sauce for steak, possibly by adding loads of pepper). With our little pie bird in place, we covered it with pastry and added some letters. We were using some pastry that we had in our freezer, but there were two problems with it – a) there wasn’t enough of it to do both a bottom and a top layer and b) it was shortcrust rather than puff. But we didn’t have much choice when we realised that and just had to make a single layer and hope that it worked out okay.

It did work out okay, in fact it worked out very well indeed. And the fact that we’d used shortcrust pastry meant that our decorations were more readable, so we could almost pretend that we’d done done it on purpose. The pie filling was very tasty – lovely, almost-melting steak, small but delicious bits of kidney, wonderfully meaty and oniony liquid. The liquid was a bit too liquidy – maybe we didn’t use enough flour when coating the meat – but that didn’t detract much from the final result.

Sep 13th, 2008

6 Comments to 'Steak and Kidney Pie'

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  1. Helen said,

    Steak and kidney is one of my all time favourite pies! A British classic! That’s why I included it in the British one hundred and I think it really deserves it’s place there. Those letters you put on the top and the blackbird funnel are just adorable too.

  2. Lizzie said,

    Very cute! What kind of kidneys did you use?

  3. Stephen said,

    Thanks for the nice comments Helen and Lizzie 🙂

    Helen, it’s probably my all time favourite pie too but have never actually tried making it before.

    Lizzie, we used pork kidneys in the end – we tried to get beef kidneys, which would have been according to the recipe, but couldn’t get them. The butcher said that lambs kidneys wouldn’t be strong enough in a pie, so pork kidneys would be the next best. I should have put that into the post actually!

  4. Jules said,

    I love the decoration!

  5. Sylvie said,

    Pies are definitely one of the things I’m looking forward to, now that autumn is around the corner. Love the letters on the pie, what a great idea.

  6. Claire said,

    That is a very good looking pie 🙂

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