7 May 2011

Steak & Kidney Pie : especially for Mr Tom Hux!

Shin of Beef - my choice for Steak & Kidney
Here you go, Tom!  I (eventually) got around to posting up my recipe for you.  *phew*  It's a good job you weren't holding your breath!

So, the way I go about Steak & Kidney is to create the meaty filling and then apply it to whichever form of "pie" I require.  So, for instance, if it was going into a "pudding" type, with suet-based pastry, I'd make it a wetter mix.  However, it is was going into a "puff pastry" type of pie - with maybe a shortcrust bottom and a puff top, I'd make it a dryer mix simply by reducing the sauce further.

Brisket of beef.
I'll leave the "pieness" for you to decide upon, as it's easy to find shop-bought pastry, plus the suet-based crust is equally easy to find a recipe for.  However, I'm pretty sure you said you didn't like the "puddingy" type of pies, so that's another reason for skipping lightly over that bit.

So, having said that - here's how I make the meaty filling.

STEAK & KIDNEY (for a pie) - serves 4

Ingredients :

2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, cut into thirds and sliced
1 clove of garlic, grated
800g Beef shin or Beef Brisket, trimmed and diced.  With Brisket, you can get away with less quantity, as the trimming is much less.  However, you don't get the help with the flavour that you do from the fat in the Shin.  Your choice!
4-5 chestnut mushrooms, quartered
2 tbsp plain flour plus seasoning
a quantity of good dark beef stock (home made if possible, otherwise 2 x Oxo cubes crumbled over, plus water to just cover the contents of the saucepan)
1 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp Bovril
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp dried Sage
half a tsp of ground cinnamon
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
4 lamb's kidneys, cored and cut into small dice.

Method :

1.  Into a large saucepan and on a medium heat,  add the oil, allow to get hot and then the onion.  Fry until the onion has taken on some colour and the smaller pieces are quite dark brown - around 10-15 mins.

2.  Add the grated garlic and fry for 30 seconds, stirring well, to ensure an even distribution.  Remove and keep warm.

3.  Heat the pan until sizzling, then add the beef and flash-fry until brown (and some pieces will be caramelised).  You may have to do this in stages, depending on the size of your pan.  Don't overcrowd the pan, or the meat will braise instead of fry.

4.  Reduce the heat under the pan, then sprinkle over the flour and stir for 2-3 minutes.

4.  Return the onions & garlic to the pan and add the mushrooms.  Stir to combine.

5.  Add the stock (or Oxo cubes & water) and stir to combine, making sure all the lumps of flour are stirred in.

6.  Add the tomato puree, Bovril, Worcestershire sauce, tomato ketchup, dried Sage and cinnamon and stir well to combine.

7.  Taste and season with the freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.  The quantity of salt required will depend on whether you are using home made stock, or the Oxo cubes.  In the case of the cubes, go lightly with the salt.

8.  Allow the whole lot to come to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes, before covering with a lid and putting in the oven for a minimum of 2 hours.

Lamb's kidneys
9.  After 2 hours, add the kidneys, stir to combine, cover and return to the oven for another hour - or an hour minus the time the pie will require to cook.

It is worth allowing time for the mixture to cool slightly before trying to apply pastry - as the heat of the meat will make the pastry extremely hard to handle.

Personally, I'd be cooking the meat on Saturday and the pie on Sunday.

Let me know how you get on!


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