First up this year we have a surprise. Anyone who’s been perusing this blog over the last few months will realise that most of us at the MCC are pure novices in the art of cooking, which is why the “steak and Kidney Pie” is special. It’s the first recipe where we the disciples have taken the recipe into our own hands and discovered the correct “moves”.
I decided that all I wanted was a pie. Me and Gee had a game pie from a farmers market and frankly it was rank, but we both couldn’t help but fantasize over pies. So the mission the next day was to research steak and kidney pies on this interweb thingy. I found hundreds of recipes, read about thirty and realised that there were a few quantities and ingredients that are pretty consistent and a few extras here and there that seem worthy of additional investigation.
So I ended up with the following ingredients.
- 1.5 lbs of Beef cut into large cubes
- 1/2 lb of kidney, cleaned, cut into small chunks, with all tubing cut out
- 20-30 Button mushrooms cut in half
- Puff Pastry, you could make your own, but the packet stuff is pretty good
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, sliced
- Worcester sauce
- Salt and pepper
- Punch of flour
- Couple of knobs of butter
- Beef stock, I bought mine from Sainsbury’s
- 1 egg
Doesn’t look enough once you write it down… 🙂
First things first, chop your steak into nice big chunks, I like each chunk to be two bites, but each to their own… The kidney needs to be washed and the “skin” needs to be peeled off. You also need to get the white tubey bits out from the middle, this was the longest part of the prepping. Luckily my local butcher did most of this for me, except the nasty tube bit.
Heat up a deep frying pan and chuck in a good size knob of butter, wait for it to melt and add the onion, we want them to go a nice golden colour, then add in the garlic slivers. Add a good few pinches of salt and pepper.
Then add the steak and kidney, let it get browned all over and add a dash of Worcester sauce. Once browned add in the stock and the bay leaf and leave for an hour or so simmering with a lid on. It doesn’t need to be exactly an hour, so go and watch 2 episodes of your favourite tv programme, or take the dog for a walk.
Once back add in the mushrooms, a bit more salt and pepper and another dash of Worcester sauce, and leave to simmer again for 20 minutes (with the lid on).
Now we need to thicken up the gravy. Someone told me to make a Rue, which is where you make a paste out of flour and butter. I’m not quite sure of the benefits of this method but it definitely works. This is probably the trickiest part of the whole recipe, but really is pretty simple. I seemed to make too much, but no matter. Get a knob of butter half the size of your thumb and add flour to it and rub the flour into the butter with the back of a spoon, when it turns into a lumpy paste it’s ready.
Stir the rue into the pan, making sure that you dissolve the lumps properly. You will notice the gravy change colour, getting lighter and slowly thickening up. Don’t make it too thick, if you do add a little more stock and stir that in.
Right we’re ready, the oven should be on (oops forgot to say), to the temperature that the pastry states on the packet(!!). Pour the steak and kidney and gravy into a oven proof dish and lay the pastry over the top. Push the edges of the pastry down a bit, and brush the top of the pastry with a whisked up egg, I made a few air holes too, to let the steam out.
Put this in the oven, and take out when the packet tells you to…
I have to say I’m amazed at how easy and impressive it is to make this. When I made it I actually forgot to make anything else to go with it, which is fine by be. I forget others like vegetables… 🙂