Steak and kidney pie is one of the ultimate British comfort foods. Slow roast chunks of beef, nestled in a thick mushroom gravy, then covered in a rich suet shortcrust pastry top.
It doesn't get much better than that for a delicious dinner!
Great for making in advance and freezing, this pie is great for cooks that want to get ahead. More importantly your family will love it!
Why you will love this dish
- great for using cheaper cuts of meat so perfect for feeding large families
- don't fancy making the pastry - no worries, buy some ready made
- freeze the pie unbaked for another time
- easy to cook in the oven or slow cooker/crock pot
What are the ingredients?
Depending on where you live beef cut name vary but for this recipe you can use the cheapest beef you can find. I tend to buy stewing or braising (chuck) steak. I've also used kidney, which is really cheap, so you can vary the amounts of beef and kidney to your liking or just leave it out if you prefer.
For the rest of the filling you will need onions, mushrooms, beef stock, Worcester sauce, dried thyme, flour and seasoning.
For the pastry you will need plain flour, butter, lard and an egg to glaze.
How to make steak and kidney pie
This steak and kidney pie recipe might seem to take a lot of time but the results are definitely worth it. I find it's easier to make enough for two large pies. I put one in the freezer, with or without a crust, for when I don't have much time.
Start by softening chopped onions in oil in a large frying pan.
Add some chopped mushrooms. For added richness you could use dried porcini mushrooms which have been re-hydrated in warm water.
When softened, transfer to a large casserole dish or a slow cooker.
Cut the steak into chunks and core and chop the kidneys too. Don't forget to cut around the tough white core.
Fry the beef over a high heat and then transfer to the dish.
Add the kidney for a minute and then sprinkle over plain flour and cook for a minute.
Then add the beef stock and Worcester sauce. Bring to the boil to thicken and mix with the other ingredients.
I put this in the oven at 160C/140FAN/310F/Gas 3 for about 2-3 hours. Times will vary with the cut of meat.
If you want to use a slow cooker allow 8 hours on high but halve the amount of stock used.
The pictures show the ingredients for two pies.
Check the consistency at the end of cooking . Add some cornflour mixed with water if it seems too thin and then transfer to a pie dish to cool. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight if possible.
This helps the flavours to develop and stops the pastry from melting if you put it straight onto a hot filling.
The next step is to make the pastry. The easiest way is to put the flour, butter and suet into a food process and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs.
You can do it by hand, or if you can't stand getting messy hands, use a fork. My grandmother always made pastry this way and it was always light and melting.
Add enough cold water to pulse into a ball. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to cool.
Roll out to cover the dish.
Place on top of the cooled steak and kidney mix and decorate. Glaze with beaten egg and make a few slits in the top in case it puffs up.
Bake at 180C/350F or Gas ⅘ for about 20-30 minutes.
If your family doesn't like kidney simply add a little more beef the recipe instead. Alternatively add some sliced carrots instead.
For the pastry you can swap the lard/suet for all butter or baking fat or just buy a ready made pastry.
This is a classically British pie which originated in the 19th century. My dad always called it snake and pygmy, from rhyming slang, (he was a Londoner), and I've also heard that oysters were often used as a cheap way to fill out the pie with less meat. Obviously not nowadays!
What can you do with leftover shortcrust pastry?
If you have any pastry leftover form topping the pie simply cut into rounds and place in the freezer to avoid waste. Keep adding to the tin when you make pastry and then, when it's full it's easy to make mini quiches and tarts.
And here it is, my steak and kidney pie!
A perfect, melt in the mouth pastry on top of tender chunks of beaf in a rich gravy.
- make it easier to prepare kidneys by slicing in half through the core and then using kitchen scissors to chop the meat from around the white core
- to give kidneys a milder flavour leave them to soak in milk for half an hour before draining and using in the recipe
More pie recipes
Steak and Kidney Pie
- 500 g stewing or braising steak cubed
- 200 g pigs kidney cored and chopped
- 125 g mushrooms chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 1 pint beef stock
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoon oil
For the pastry
- 284 g all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 90 g butter
- 75 g shredded suet or lard
- 1 egg for glazing
- Fry the onions for a few minutes over a medium heat to soften and add the mushrooms. Transfer to a casserole dish.
- Increase the heat and brown the steak with salt and pepper, transfer to casserole.
- Add the kidney to the pan for a minute and then sprinkle in the flour, stock and Worcester sauce.
- Bring to the boil and then combine with ingredients in the dish.
- Cover and cook for about 2-3 hours on 160C/310F/Gas 3, or 8 hours on high in a slow cooker. (Reduce the stock by half if using a slow cooker).
- Transfer the mixture to a pie dish and cool and cover, ideally overnight.
- In a food processor pulse the pastry ingredients together until they resemble breadcrumbs.
- Add cold water and pulse until it forms a dough.
- Cover in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Roll out to cover the dish and decorate. Add a few slits to the top and glaze with beated egg..
- Cook in the oven at Gas 4-5/180C/350F for about 20-30 minutes.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.