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Steak & Kidney Pie
Dec 28th, 2009 at 11:44am
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The oven fired on about the fourth try and so on with the cooking.

Being irish german in my antecedents, I don't lnow why traditional English cuisine holds such a high place in my holiday menus, but it does and thus the Steak and Kidney Pie.

I saw a nice pack of veal kidneys at the market a couple of weeks ago, and that was the final push to make this dish.

Used a commercial pre-made deep dish pie crust. Hey pre-cook this while not getting involved in anything else, otherwise 9, then 15, then 20 minutes will pass before you ever pull it out of the oven and that means you have to use the other one from the two-pack. Thank goodness for 2 packs.

Most recipes call for around a 3/2 or 2/1 mix of beef to kidneys; I went 3/2, but I wish I had thrown the remaining handful of kidney bits in too, I don't think 1/1 would have hurt. I like the flavor of kidneys. Cut all the meat into small cube or large dice. Dredge all in seasoned flour and brown in oil (I cut up two slices of thick bacon and browned in rendered fat.) As necessary, remove browned meat and saute a chopped medium onion and around a half-pound of sliced mushrooms. I forgot garlic, but I would add a couple cloves of minced garlic.

I also added a chopped parsnip and some chopped "Italian" pepper which had gone orange. Neither of these items were in any recipe I saw. I didn't, but I would, add maybe a carrot and some peas or something because other than the peppers, this was an unrelentingly brown dish.

After everything has been sauted, sweatede, browned etc. , deglaze the pot and throw it all back in there. Stir in a tbs of tomato sauce (could use paste I guess, recipe base called for "pureed") and a half bottle of stout of dark ale and cover with an inch or so of water, bring to boil then cook at simmer until meats are tender. Season with thyme and bay leaf.

That cooking took about an hour and a half, maybe a little less. you also want to be cooking down the liquid, although you can amend to a ticker consistency at end by addition of a roux.

In the meantime, pre-cook the other pie crust and let cool. While you're at it, better thaw the puff pastry you are going to cap it with. Some say let filling cool too. Fill the cooled pie crust and top with puff pastry, trimming the corners. Pierce pastry - hey stylized cross at center was seasonal; use cut-off corners to make pastry leaves for on top.

Took about 40 minutes to brown the pastry topp crust and that's what you are looking for - everything else is already cooked. Let cool a little and cut into fat wedges, serve with a side of mash.

I served a middling claret (that's what the English call Bordeaux wine) alongside, but I think a nice dark ale would have gone very fine.

Voila! Or perhaps off the continent, Bob's your uncle!
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