This is a Steak And Kidney Pie … traditional food at its finest, where even the name sounds comforting. There are many people who are big fans of classic and traditional dishes like this one, recipes found in the typical British pub, those which still serve home-made pies and honour the farmhouse traditions, where this pie has its origins. The flavours produced by this pie are ‘big-and-round’, hearty and filling, with a delicious crisp and light puff-pastry crust instead of a heavier short-crust one – and this also means using a traditional ceramic pie dish.
This recipe will make four fantastic tasting individual pies, or one large pie to feed four people, and makes use of three ingredients which will lift this pie from the mundane and ordinary, to a meal you will want to make and eat over and again, using a recipe people will be nagging at you to get. These three ingredients are: Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, made to a recipe from 1837 – HP Brown Sauce, made to a recipe from 1899 and Guinness, made the same way since the 1840s. All three famous ingredients are now exported world-wide and can be tracked down in supermarkets and from good stockists.
Steak And Kidney Pie Recipe
Makes 4 individual Pies – or 1 large Pie for 4
- 1kg of beef chuck or braising steak
- 300g kidneys (veal, pork or lamb)
- 40g plain flour
- 50g butter, diced
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
- 2 large onions, peeled and chopped fine
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine or crushed
- 400ml of Guinness (a stout or porter ale)
- 300ml of Beef Stock
- 2 bay leaves – left whole
- A few fresh Thyme Sprigs, leaves only
- Handful of flat leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped
- 1 tbsp concentrated tomato puree
- 1 tbsp Lea & Perrins ‘Worcestershire Sauce’
- 1 tbsp HP Brown sauce
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 500g good quality ready-made puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten for glaze
- 2 tbsp of water, to stick the pastry to the pie dish
Cut the beef into 2.5 cm pieces. Then cut the kidneys in half (lengthways) and remove the hard white stems from the interior and discard. Chop up the rest of the kidneys into 1 cm pieces (they can get a little ‘mushy’ but will come good when frying).
Season the flour, with the salt and pepper on a large plate. Toss the chopped beef and kidney (keep the kidney seperate) in the seasoned flour to coat them all over.
Heat a wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan on a medium-high heat, then add in half the butter and half the vegetable oil. Fry the mushrooms for 2 minutes, then add in the garlic and onions and fry until the onions are soft and golden. Remove and set aside in a large bowl.
Put in the remaining half of the butter and half of the vegetable oil into the pan, bring it back up to a medium-high heat and fry the beef in small batches, this is so the temperature of the pan does not drop and stew the beef instead of frying it. Finally fry the choped kidneys separately (they will take less time to fry).
This will take about 5 minutes per batch to brown all the meat – place each batch in the bowl with the mushrooms and onions once browned. Don’t worry if the pan gets crispy brown bits from the high frying temperature and butter/flour frying but make sure they don’t burn or blacken.
After browning all the meat we need to de-glaze the pan. Add in about 4 tablespoons of ale and scrape all the brown bits off the pan and into the liquid.
Return all the fried onions, mushrooms and steak and kidney back to the pan, add all the rest of the ale, the beef stock, bay leaves, two thirds of the thyme leaves, tomato puree, and Worcestershire Sauce. Stir, bring to just under the boil, then turn the heat down to a very low simmer, cover the pan with a lid and cook very gently for 2 hours – giving it a stir every so often.
After 2 hours, using a slotted spoon, remove all the steak, kidney and mushrooms from the stock (leave as much liquid in the pan as possible) and place the meat and mushrooms into 4 individual oven pie dishes (or 1 large oven pie dish). The 4 individual ceramic pie dishes are enough for one person each.
Discard the bay leaves from the stock. Taste and adjust the stock using a little sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and add the HP Sauce. This liquid stock now needs to be boiled steadily on a medium heat (without the lid on the pan) until it reduces to a thick gravy.
Once thickened stir in the chopped parsley and then pour the gravy over the meat and mushrooms in the pie dishes and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200C
Roll out the pre-made puff pastry for the steak and kidney pies on a lightly floured work surface – to about 1/2 cm thick. Cut out 4 shapes that will fit over the top of the 4 pie dishes you are going to use and become the pie lid or crust. From the remaining pastry, re-gather, re-roll and cut out four (long) 2 cm wide strips of pastry to go around the rims of the pie dish.
Brush the rims of the four individual pie dishes with a little water. Lay the long 2 cm pastry strips around the rims, joining them to fit together, and moulding them to the rim, hanging down equally over the outside and inside of the pie dish.
Brush these pastry strips with a little more water. Then lift the pastry lids (Pie Crust) over each pie, pressing them down and sealing them to the pastry strips you ran around the pie dish rim.
Brush the top of these steak and kidney pie lids (crusts) with the beaten egg glaze and sprinkle on some sea salt and a few fresh thyme leaves. Note: It is at this stage you can freeze the pies for up to 2 months wrapped in foil – if freezing, remove to thaw for a day and then bake as below.
Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the pie is piping hot.
Serve the Steak And Kidney Pie, still in its pie dish or tin, place them on a large dining plate with chips and peas (traditional) or whatever seasonal vegetables, potatoes or mash etc that you want.