Recipe: Steak and Kidney Pie

I PROMISE you that you want to eat this. It’s the greatest steak and kidney pie there ever was. If you are funny in any way about kidney (then your missing out), but, you can add extra beef if it’s really a no go for you, just sub the kidneys for an extra beef shin. It’s a bit of effort this one, especially if you go for a long marinade over the short version, but whatever you do give it a go at least once and you’ll keep coming back.

(serves 4)

Ingredients

2 large beef shin pieces at least 500-600g combined weight
4 large lambs kidneys
300g all butter rolled puff pastry sheet
Half a bottle of good Malbec red wine
1 can of Guinness
1 carrot, half a leek , half an onion and 2 celery sticks all finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed with a knife
3 bay leaves
5 black peppercorns
1 clove
300ml beef stock
1 sprig of rosemary
Stalks from a small bunch of fresh parsley
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves
3 tbsp plain flour
25g unsalted butter
1 Tsp dijon mustard
1 Tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 beaten egg
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Method

Place the beef shin and red wine into a lidded container and marinade for up to 24 hours but no longer than 48 hours.

To make the pie filling drain the beef reserving the wine into a clean saucepan. Place the saucepan over a high heat and reduce the wine by by 1 third it’s volume. Place the flour in a shallow dish and season generously with salt and pepper Dice the beef into large chunks and dredge in the seasoned flour, shaking of any excess. Heat a lidded casserole over a medium-high heat and add a good lug of olive oil. Brown the beef in batches and remove with a slotted spoon, set to one side. Add the chopped vegetables to the casserole dish (add more oil only if necessary) and fry the vegetables for 8-10 minutes until soft and lightly browned. Add the beef, reduced wine, Guinness, beef stock, rosemary, bay leaves, parsley stalks, peppercorns and cloves. Season well with salt and pepper, bring to the boil then pop the lid on and turn down to a simmer for 2.5 hours. Allow to cool completely in the pot ready to make the pie the following day for best results (if you can’t wait a day just skip straight to the next bit).

Remove the beef from the cooled casserole using a slotted spoon. Strain the sauce into a large clean saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce by a third of it’s volume and whisk in the mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, chopped parsley and butter. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add back the braised beef shin. Chop the flesh from the outer kidneys and discard the inner tracts. Add the kidney pieces to the pan and mix well to combine.

Transfer the pie filling to a pie dish but reserve 100-200ml of the cooking liquid to serve as gravy. ย When you add the filling to the dish it shouldn’t be too dry nor too wet so be sure to have just enough gravy for an oozy filling but not so much that you get soggy pastry. Pop the pie dish in the fridge to cool the filling while you prepare the pastry.

Pre-heat the oven to 180ยฐc. Roll the puff pastry on a clean floured work surface so that the piece of pastry is slightly larger than your pie dish. Cut a circle form the pastry using an upside down plate as a stencil. When the filling is cool nestle the puff pastry lid into the pie dish tucking up the edges, pierce a small whole in the centre with a knife. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with salt. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden, puffed and bubbling at the edges.

Serve the pie with the extra gravy, buttered new potatoes and steamed greens.

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