Gordon has been cooking and experimenting with food since childhood. He loves coming up with new and tasty culinary creations.
Steak and Kidney Pie: An English Classic
Today, steak and kidney pie can be made in a great many different ways. Modern cooking techniques and practices have seen this traditional British classic adapted to an extent where it is often all but beyond recognition.
The combination of steak and kidney, however, remains something that typifies traditional British food and home cooking; whether it be made into a pie or a pudding, it remains a great favourite throughout the land.
This homemade steak and kidney pie goes right back to basics, devoid of modern twists and incorporating only the delicious—meaning the basic flavours of the steak, kidney, and pastry. Served with homemade chips and peas, this simple creation is a taste of the heart and soul of Britain.
These quantities will make enough to serve two people.
- 3/4 pound stewing steak
- 1/2 pound ox kidneys
- 8 ounces puff pastry
- 1 pint fresh beef stock
- 2 large, floury potatoes
- 4 tablespoons frozen peas
- 1 small egg (beaten) for glazing the pie
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Malt vinegar and HP Sauce (optional)
Step 1: Prepare the Steak and Kidney
- The meat must be cooked and cooled before the pie can be assembled.
- The steak and kidney should be chopped into bite-sized pieces. It is possible to have your butcher do this for you. If cleaning the kidneys yourself, cut out and discard the white, fatty bits from the insides.
- Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to a large stew pot and bring up to a medium heat. Add the meat and quickly brown and seal, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon.
- Pour the beef stock into the pot and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer for one hour, until the steak is tender. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and set aside to cool.
Step 2: Start Preparing the Chips When the Stock Reaches a Simmer
- Perhaps not the obvious step at this stage.
- The method used here of preparing chips is one which was first suggested by the celebrity chef, Heston Blumenthal. It requires that the chips be cooked in three stages, over a period of a couple of hours or more. While this may sound like a lot of extra work, where time permits, the difference in the quality of the chips makes the effort more than worthwhile.
- The potatoes should be peeled, sliced and chopped into chips. The chips should be added to a large pot of cold water and the pot put on a high heat until the water starts to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes only.
- Carefully drain the chips through a colander and add them to a bowl of cold water for a few minutes to cool. Drain again, then spread them in a plastic dish and refrigerate for a minimum of half an hour.
Step 3: Fry the Chips for the First Time
- This should be done when the meat has been set aside to cool.
- The chips are going to be deep-fried twice. When they are removed from the refrigerator the first time, they will still be wet, so they should be very carefully patted dry in a clean tea towel.
- They should then be deep-fried for 5 or 6 minutes on medium heat. Drain them on kitchen paper, cover and set aside to cool. When they are sufficiently cool, return them to the plastic dish and the refrigerator for another minimum of half an hour.
Step 4: Assemble the Steak and Kidney Pie
- Start this when the chips are returned to the refrigerator.
- While the pie is being built, the oven should be put on to preheat to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6.
- The pie dish used here is 10" x 7" and just over 1" deep. This is perfect for the quantity of meat. The cooled steak, kidney and stock should all be added to the dish before the pastry is rolled out on a lightly floured surface to a size very slightly larger than the dish. It should then be placed on top and tucked, crimped around the edges.
- Glaze the pie with the beaten egg and don't forget to make a "+" in the centre to allow steam to escape during cooking.
- The pie should be placed in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until the pastry is risen and beautifully golden.
Step 5: Finish off the Steak and Kidney Pie, Chips and Peas
- Plating up is minutes away.
- When the pie is ready, it should be removed from the oven, covered with foil and allowed to cool slightly and rest while the chips are finished and peas prepared.
- The chips should be deep-fried for a further 6 or 7 minutes, until beautifully crisp and golden. They should then be drained on kitchen towel.
- The frozen peas should be added to a pan of boiling water and simmered for 3 minutes, before they are drained through a colander.
- The pie should be halved and plated. The chips and peas should be arranged alongside and seasoned with salt and malt vinegar.
- HP Sauce is a big British food tradition and, although optional, compliments this classic steak and kidney pie with chips dish to perfection.
Thanks you for your visit to this page. I hope that the recipe appeals to you and that you will try it out for yourself. Any comments of feedback you have may be left in the space below.
© 2011 Gordon N Hamilton
Are you a Fan of Steak and Kidney Pie?
Jo-Jackson on March 14, 2013:
I love steak and kidney pie. I love steak and kidney pudding too and can't get it in Australia so whenever my sister visits from England she brings me a tinned one!
Giovanna from UK on March 14, 2013:
Steak and Kidney pie is one of favorite pies. It's so British and extremely yummy. Thanks for this recipe. I'll give it a go.
girlfriendfactory on January 05, 2012:
This looks very yummy! I am adding it to my pie lens for National Pie Day (it's American, but that's okay lol). :) Thanks for the great pictures!