The first meal that I had when I came back from my parents house was Steak and Kidney Pie. I made them shortly before Christmas, as the meat had been in the freezer for a while and needed using. I have never tried kidney before and the whole idea of offal scares me slightly, but I had liver in stuffing in Paris and I've had chicken liver pate before so thought I would give kidneys a try and a pie seemed the way to go.
It turned out really well, the sauce was really flavoursome and you could taste the kidney slightly but it didn't have the icky flavour that I always imagined. I served it with leftover red cabbage, roasted carrots and mange tout.
Steak and Kidney Pie
50g plain flour
salt and pepper
700g braising steak, trimmed and cubed
175g ox kidney, cored and chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, skinned and crushed
1 large onion, chopped
100g mushrooms, sliced
150 ml brown ale
150ml beef stock
1 bay leaf
sprig of fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato puree
4 juniper berries
fresh milk, to glaze
Season 25g of the flour, then toss the steak and kidney in the flour, shaking off any excess.
Melt 25g of the butter in a large saucepan and lightly fry the garlic, onion, mushrooms for 3 mins. Add the steak, kidney and remaining coating flour and cook for 5 mins until lightly browned.
Gradually stir in the stock, ale, bay leaf, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, juniper berries and tomato puree. Cover and simmer gently for about 1 1/4 hours. Spoon the mixture into a 1.7 ltr pie dish or 4 individual pie dishes.
Cover with ready made shortcrust or puff pastry, press lightly and crimp to seal the edges. Trim off the excess pastry. Brush with milk and bake at 200C for 30-45 mins.