Steak and kidney pie
Steak and kidney pie is traditionally a British pie with filling that is slow cooked for a long time to yield a rich gravy with very tender, juicy meat. It is comfort food that truly comforts, in fact, if you are into comfort eating, stay away from steak and kidney pie, seriously it is addictive.
Although it takes a while to cook, it is worth every effort put into making it. Steak and kidney pie is a complete meal which can be eaten as lunch, dinner or a very hearty snack. It is an excellent addition to your family’s menu and since the component parts can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen, having it on the table will take very little time and effort.
Steak and kidney pie can be made as a large pie in a large pie dish or into small individual pies in mini pie tins e.g moi-moi bowls or in a muffin pan for portion control. Sometimes I use store bought pie dough, it works well too.
Do not try to rush the meat cooking process, this is what concentrates the meaty flavour and makes the gravy so flavoursome.
There are other ingredients that can be added to your steak and kidney pie e.g Mushrooms, peas, celery, carrots, potatoes, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, garlic/ginger paste, tomato puree etc.
To make Steak and kidney pie
For the dough 4 1/2 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups margarine 5-8 tablespoons cold water 1 tablespoon white vinegar (optional) 1 egg (for egg wash) For the filling 175g Cow kidney 350g beef 1 medium onion 1/3 cup flour (6 tablespoons) 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 seasoning cubes 1 cup water 1 teaspoon dry thyme 1/4 cup stout (optional)* 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon dry chilli pepper (optional) *You can replace the stout with water.
To make the dough, follow these instructions. Wrap dough and put in the fridge to relax for a minimum of 20 minutes.
Slit and peel of the thin white membrane covering the kidney if it has not been removed by the butcher.
Slice kidney through the middle lengthwise. Trim off the white centre and rinse kidney well.
Rinse beef and cut both kidney and beef into bite-size chunks, set aside.
Chop onions finely and set aside.
Mix the flour with a little salt and dredge the beef with it, set aside.
Pour vegetable oil in a dry saucepan or deep frying pan and place over high heat.
When the oil is hot, add kidney and fry until browned, drain from oil and set aside.
Fry the beef until browned. You can fry in 2 batches adding more oil if needed, drain from the pan into the plate with the kidney.
Add the chopped onions to the pan and fry scrapping bits from the frying pan.
Reduce the heat to medium-high, stirring often until brown along the edges.
Add the fried kidney and beef, add seasoning cubes, water, thyme, stout, black pepper and chili pepper.
Stir well, cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a very gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour.
Stir, taste and add salt.
Cover and continue simmering for another 45 minutes until gravy is thick and beef is very tender, take off the heat and set aside to cool completely.
Preheat oven to 200 deg. C
Remove pie dough from fridge and unwrap.
Place on a lightly floured surface and cut into 2.
Roll out the 1st to about 1/4 in thick.
Cut out 2 circles, one for the cover and the other for the pie base, depending on the size of your tin.
Press the larger circle into the tin, linning it.
Spoon some filling into it to fill it, cover with the lid and press down the edges to seal. You can use a fork or crimp it.
If using individual pie bowls, after filling place pie bowls on a baking tray.
Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush the top of the pie with the egg wash.
Cut a slit on top and place in the oven for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Leave to cool a bit in the pan before bringing out your steak and kidney pie.
- Do not try to rush the meat cooking process it is what concentrates the meaty flavour and makes the gravy so flavoursome.
- I love Worcestershire sauce in my steak and kidney pie and for this quantity, add 1 teaspoon. Especially if not using the stout.
- I don’t like adding vegetables to my steak and kidney pie. Due to the long cooking, they get almost pureed, which I can’t stand. I serve them as a side.
- Steak and kidney pie benefits from leaving the filling to cool completely so that the dough does not get soggy. It also enables the fat to settle on top so you can easily skim it off, I feel too much fat removed from the pleasure of eating Steak and kidney pie.
- The filling is even better if made up to a day ahead. Making the filling ahead enables the flavour to develop even further though it is not really necessary.
- If you have concerns about the taste of kidney, you can soak it in salt water for about 2 hours with a little vinegar added or lemon juice. You can also soak in milk.
Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.
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