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Who made all the pies? Steak and Kidney pie

By May 18, 2015 , , , , , ,

Who doesn't like a good pie? Well I certainly do. Pies are a real comfort food for me but I don't make them that often, just now and again when the mood arises and I have the time.

I used to go to a pub in London called The Counting House which serves excellent real ales but also has a great pie menu. I used to love to get their pie tasting plate, but could never quite finish it and always needed help from whomever I was drinking with at the time. I never really made pies at home until recently as they're not readily available in the shops here in the Netherlands.

It is a lot of effort but I think it's worth it in the end. The pie making came about as pies don't seem to be popular here in the Netherlands. I've managed once or twice to get them at a market in Den Haag, but what better than to make them yourself. It did take me a while to get a decent pie dish but thankfully Kitchen Art in Leiden has all sorts of great kitchen items and I happened upon some whilst in the shop. It's a great way of using up excess stew or casserole and they'll freeze well once you've made them. If you don't have pie dishes you can always use a muffin tin and make smaller versions which are just as good. If you don't fancy making pastry you can always use shop bought, but a good shortcrust pastry makes the pie all the more luxurious and is not that difficult to make.

Makes 4 medium size pies

To make the pastry
200g plain white flour
115g butter
1 medium egg yolk
30ml iced water
pinch salt
Beaten egg yolk to glaze the pastry

Rub the butter and flour together till it resembles bread crumbs 
Add the egg yolk and water and bring the mixture together till it forms a stiff dough
(this can also be made in a food processor, simply whizz the flour and butter mix till it resembles bread crumbs, then add the water and egg yolk till it comes together)
Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for an hour to rest
Once the pastry has rested then roll out to 2mm thick 
Next get your pie dish and cut out the pastry using the pie dish, ensure you have excess pastry around the edges
Then take the cut out pastry and press into the pie dish making sure there are no air bubbles, pushing the pastry into all the corners
You can trim any excess pastry from the edges of the pie dish using a knife if need be

Also cut out round shapes for the lid of the pie, place on a plate and cover with cling film and place back in the fridge till ready to fill and cover the pie

To make the pie filling
300g shin of beef slices into 1 inch pieces
150g veal or beef kidney chopped 1 inch pieces
1 large carrot peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped to the same size of the carrot
2 medium onions finely chopped
100ml porter or stout ale, you can use Guinness or a dark Belgian ale if you like
1 dessert spoon flour
1 dessert spoon tomato purée
100g chestnut mushrooms
100ml beef stock 
Sprigs of thyme and rosemary
1 bay leaf
Oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry the beef and kidneys off to seal the outside and put to one side

Next fry the onions, carrots and celery until softened

Add the tomato purée and cook out for 3 minutes
Add the flour, this will help thicken the stew and cook out again for 3 minutes
Now add the beer and stir to ensure that any flour stuck to the bottom of the pan has been removed
Tip in the beef and kidneys and add the beef stock, bring to the boil briefly for a couple of minutes.
Add the herbs
Put a lid on the pot and place in a low oven at 110c (fan) 120c (normal) for 4 hours.
Add the mushrooms an hour before the end of cooking
Allow to cool before adding to the pastry

To assemble the pies

Fill the chilled and lined pie dishes with the stew mix, but not too full
If you like you can add some blue cheese (as I have done below) to the stew mix, about 50g cut into small pieces should be sufficient.

Glaze the sides of the pastry with either water or egg wash and then place the lid on top.
Press the sides of the top to ensure it is all sealed

With a knife make a slit in the top to allow steam to escape.

Glaze with the beaten egg
Cook at 190c (fan), 200c (normal) for 30 - 40 mins, check after 30 mins to see if the internal temp is up to 84 celsius

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  1. wow, that look delicious, thanks for posting up this recipe, looks quite simple to make to. Thanks