Sunday, 1 November 2009
Every week we make a list of what's on the menu for the days ahead. We then write a list, take it shopping and only need to top up on things like milk, bread and chocolate during the week. My mum had written that we'd have meat pie one day that week. We normally buy two separate pies for the family so I decided I'd make one that everyone would like.
I found some ready cut stewing beef and pigs kidney in the butchery department of Morrisons. They were packaged together and I grabbed a couple of packs to make sure I had enough. I'd never cooked with kidneys before and wasn't entirely sure what I was letting myself in for but I was keen that I could work it out. I've made fruit pies hundreds of times before so I was sure it would be a pretty similar adventure.
Stewing steak likes long, slow cooking. The handy hint on the package of meat said it needed 2-3 hours so I decided I'd stick the filling in the slow cooker and save myself some work. It smelled awful. There was a strong scent of urine from the kidneys and I was really worried we'd need to go and get a take away if this didn't work out. I decided to persevere and used the usual seasonings and herbs for a decent stew.
The result was amazing. I used a cake pan in order to squeeze loads of filling in and have an awesome filling to pastry ratio. I used ready made puff pastry that had been sitting in the fridge waiting to be used and it was a little difficult to work with. It all turned out perfectly and I'm keen to make more meat pies in the future. My dad said it was the best steak and kidney pie he'd ever tasted (and he's tasted quite a few!).
700g stewing steak and kidney mix (cubed)
1 onion, roughly chopped
10 button mushrooms, quartered
1tbsp mustard powder
1 beef stock cube, crumbled
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
Enough boiling water to come halfway up the meat - though you could use a good stout for a different flavour)
Puff Pastry (you can also use shortcrust)
Place the onion and mushrooms into the slow cooker.
Brown the meat and kidneys (in a well ventilated area) and add to the pot.
Follow with the rest of the ingredients.
Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-10
Taste for seasoning, remove the bay leaves and place the mixture into a wide dish to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180C
Roll the pastry out and lay into a loose bottomed cake tin (make sure there's enough left for the lid)
Fill the pastry with the cooled meat mixture - don't be afraid to cram it in there!)
Egg wash the edge of the pastry, cover with the lid and seal tightly.
Egg wash the top of the pie, cut a cross in the centre to let out the steam and then place the pie onto a baking sheet to minimise mess.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden and piping hot throughout. Slice carefully and serve with chips or potatoes and the vegetables of your choice.