ChatterRecipe of the Month Fall 2010

Steak & Kidney Pie

Now, I am not a particular fan of red meat these days, in fact, I rarely (!) eat it, but in keeping with our theme and to honor my late father’s love of roast beef, I decided to go with a traditional steak & kidney pie. As a child, I can remember good old Fray Bentos’ canned Steak & Kidney pies, and they are still making them today! You can even buy them online from one of the many specialty food websites!

This is hopefully a more appetizing recipe!

For the Filling

2 tablespoons Oil

1½ lbs Round or Skirt Steak (cut into 1 inch cubes)

½ lb Beef or Veal Kidneys

¼ cup All-Purpose Flour

1 large Onion (chopped)

Garlic (optional, finely chopped or minced)

1¼ cups Beef Stock

½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Salt & Black Pepper

½ lb Mushrooms (cleaned & sliced)

Egg (beaten for glazing)

For the Short Crust Pastry

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

¼ lb Butter or Shortening

About 3 – 5 tablespoons Water (ice-cold)

To Make the Filling: Heat the Oil in a large skillet or pan, but before adding the meat – first toss the cubes of Steak & Kidney in some seasoned Flour and shake off the excess so that the pieces are lightly coated. Then cook the Steak cubes until browned on all sides, remove from the skillet and set aside. Do the same with the Kidneys.

In the same skillet, cook the Onion (and a little finely chopped or minced Garlic if you want) until soft. Stir about 2 tablespoons of Flourand cook for a minute or so until the flour has had time to expand. Gradually add in the Beef Stock so that the gravy can thicken, then add the Worcestershire SauceSalt & Black Pepper to taste. Add back in the Steak Kidneys, partially cover and simmer gently for about 1½ hours. Then add in the sliced Mushrooms and cook for another 30 minutes or until the meat is tender. Set the “stew” aside and wait until it has completely cooled before covering with the pastry. This mixture can also be prepared the day ahead.

To Make the Pastry: Sift the Flour into a large bowl. Add in the cubes of cold Butter or Shortening and rub in lightly with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Do not overwork the pastry, as this will make it “tough and rubbery.” Gradually add in the ice-cold Water and mix with a large flat-bladed knife until the dough comes together to form a soft ball. Some recipes suggest you cover the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour before rolling out. Alternatively, you could also purchase a good quality store-bought pastry, and some recipes call for Puff Pastry instead of Short Crust.

To Make the Pie: Take the pastry and roll out on a floured surface until about 1 inch larger than your pie dish. Take your pie dish, turn it upside-down and place on top of the pastry. Cut around the edge to create your “lid” and place pie dish to one side. Brush around the rim of your pie dish with Water, and then using the leftover trimmings, press on a thin strip of pastry all around the edge of your pie dish. Place a pie funnel in the middle of the dish and then spoon in the meat mixture. If you don’t have a pie funnel, use an upside-down eggcup. Lightly brush the pastry strip with Water before placing the pastry “lid” on top of the pie. Seal the edges by “crimping” them all around with a fork. Make a hole in the pastry “lid” above the pie funnel to let the steam escape. Decorate the rest of the pie with shapes cut from any remaining pastry trimmings before brushing the top of the whole pie with beaten Egg. Bake in a 400 F (200 centigrade) oven for 25 – 30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Serve immediately with a nice green vegetable such as SpinachCabbage or Peas.

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