Flushed with the success of my recent rough puff pastry I decided to use it again in a warming pie. Of course, I turned to my pal Mad Dog for recipe inspiration and came across his gorgeous recipe for Steak and Kidney Pie. Using this as the start point, I gathered together my ingredients and got going.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- About 1kg of braising steak
- 2 medium onions (finely chopped)
- 1 stick of celery (finely chopped)
- 1 carrot (finely chopped)
- About 20 button and chestnut mushrooms (finely chopped)
- 5 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- a pinch of crushed chilli or chili powder
- ground sea salt, black peppercorns, and a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary, 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons of tomato purée
- Half a bottle of red wine plus enough beef or chicken stock to cover the meat and vegetables
- Flour for coating the meat and extra (if needed) to thicken the sauce
- olive oil as needed for frying
- 1 beaten egg
- extra salt and pepper to taste
- 1 batch of rough puff pastry
Make your pastry and leave to rest in the fridge while you get on with the pie filling.
Cut the meat into small cubes and toss them in seasoned flour.
Fry in a little olive oil until browned on the outside (you may need to do this in batches) and set aside but don’t clean out the pan. Add more oil if necessary and gently fry the onions, carrots and celery until the onion is soft and transparent.
Return the meat to the pan and add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms start to soften then add the seasoning, herbs, tomato purée and liquid. Bring to a gentle boil and transfer to a casserole dish with a lid and continue to cook either on the stove top for about 2 hours on a very low flame or in a low oven until the meat is very tender for 2-3 hours.
Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. If the casserole is too liquid, thicken with about a heaped teaspoon of flour mixed with a teaspoon of butter and dropped into the pot and stirred gently until the sauce starts to thicken.
Allow the filling to cool (overnight is best as the flavours will develop) and then you can assemble your pie. Pour the filling into a pie dish and cover with your pastry, cutting a few holes to allow the steam to escape and brushing with a beaten egg.
I tried to get artistic like Mad Dog but my attempts were more reminiscent of the devil we saw last year on our trip to Jersey. Eek! Luckily I made a double batch of filling and I left the second pie plain…much more appetising.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes at 220 degrees C until golden brown. Sigh!