One of the most “British” dishes you can cook. When the balance between the beef, the kidney and the rich gravy is right, this becomes a sublime dish. This needs a really light flaky puff pastry top rather than a stodgy suet pudding.
900g Braising steak or Ox cheeks, cut into 2-3 cm cubes
200g Ox kidney, trimmed and cut into 1cm cubes
2 tbs Beef dripping, or olive oil
200g Onions, peeled and thickly sliced
2 tbs Plain flour
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp Fresh thyme, finely chopped
500ml Beef stock
Salt and black pepper
For the pastry
500g Ready made Puff pastry (you can of course make your own)
1 Egg, beaten
Preparation & Cooking
Melt 1 tablespoon of beef dripping (or olive oil) in a frying pan over a high heat, until the fat is smoking hot. Then brown the meat cubes on all sides, a few at a time, so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat for all the beef cubes. Add the remaining beef dripping to the pan, and do the same with the kidney. Its important to get a really good colour on the meat, as this both enhances the flavour and colour of the dish.
When the beef and kidney has been browned and removed from the pan, add the onions and cook for 5-7 minutes, until browned at the edges. Transfer the beef, kidney, any juices and the onions to a large casserole dish, and then stir in the flour. Add the Worcestershire sauce, thyme, the stock, and seasoning, and mix well.
Place into a pre-heated oven at 140°C, for approx. 2 hours, until the meat is tender and well cooked. If necessary, add a little water during the cooking, but you want a really rich thick gravy.
After the pie filling has been cooked, and cooled slightly, you can make a large pie or several individual pies. Select a pie dish deep enough to hold the filling, and wide enough for a nice pastry top. For example, one 25cm pie dish or 6 x 425ml pie dishes. Fill the selected pie dish with the steak and kidney filling. Roll out the puff pastry to about 8-10mm thick, and sufficient to cover the pie dish or dishes. Decorate with additional pastry leaves as required, egg wash the pastry, and then make a single slit in the top with a sharp knife.
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C, and bake the pie dish for about 35-40 minutes for a large dish, or 25-30 minutes for smaller individual pies. Serve hot.