A good steak & kidney pie

A good steak & kidney pie

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(27 ratings)

Takes around 2¼ hours, plus chilling

More effort

Serves 6

An old favourite - a traditional steak and kidney pie, comfort food at its best.

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal831
  • fat50g
  • saturates26g
  • carbs44g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre3g
  • protein54g
  • salt1g
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    For the pastry

    • 250g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
    • 140g cold unsalted butter, roughly cubed
    • 1 large egg yolk



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    • 1 small egg whisked with 1 tbsp milk, for the egg wash



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    For the filling

    • 1 ox kidney, about 400g/14oz, get it fresh from your butcher. Pig's and lamb's kidneys aren't suitable as they only need short cooking
    • 1kg trimmed British top rump beef
    • 250g flat mushrooms, unpeeled but wiped with a damp cloth
    • 3 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
    • 100g unsalted butter
    • 1 large onion, peeled and thickly chopped



      Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

    • 50-85g plain flour, depending on how thick you like your gravy
    • 600ml off-the-boil water
    • 1 tbsp Marigold Swiss vegetable bouillon powder
    • 1 large bay leaf


    1. It's important to cook the meat a day ahead, so that you can discard any fat that has risen to the top, and so that the pastry doesn't slump in the face of a too-warm filling, so up to 48 hours ahead -make the pastry. Whizz the flour and a pinch of fine sea salt together for a few seconds in a food processor, then add the butter and whizz until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk together the egg yolk and 3 tbsp water and whizz with the pastry until it collects in a ball. Wrap in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least one hour.

    2. Cut button-mushroom-sized lobes of kidney from the white central core (discarding). Cut the beef into bite-sized cubes and cut the mushrooms into chunks.

    3. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over a medium-high heat. Throw in the kidney and fry until lightly coloured. Tip into a colander to drain.

    4. Wipe out the frying pan and return it to a low-medium heat, adding 25g/1oz of the butter and 1 tbsp oil. Tip in the onion and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly golden. Transfer to a large casserole, using a slotted spoon.

    5. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3/fan 140C. Tip the 85g/3oz flour into a large plastic bag, and season it generously. Throw in the beef and shake until lightly floured.Return the frying pan to a mediumhigh heat, adding a little more oil and butter if needed. Shake off any excess flour (reserving it) then fry the beef in batches until golden-brown. As each batch is done, transfer it to the casserole.

    6. Adding more oil and butter to the frying pan if necessary, fry the mushrooms for about 2 minutes until starting to wilt, then add them to the casserole with the drained kidneys, hot water, bouillon powder and bay leaf, plus the excess flour in the bag if you like a thick gravy. Stir well, cover and cook in the oven for 75-90 minutes until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick. Cool thoroughly, then put in the fridge (preferably overnight) so any fat will solidify – it can then be skimmed off and discarded.

    7. In the morning - return the pastry to cool room temperature, then roll it out thinly on a wellfloured surface. Invert a 28-30x23cm, 6.5cm deep pie dish on to the pastry. Mentally add an extra 1cm all round, then use the dish as a guide to cut out the pastry lid. From the remnants, cut out enough 6cm-wide strips of pastry to go round the dish – they should cover the flat rim and about halfway down the insides.

    8. Lightly butter the rim of the dish and line it with the strip(s) of pastry, sealing any joins with a little dab of water. Butter the shoulders of a pie raiser or an upturned egg cup and stand it in the middle. Spoon in the meat mixture to come level with the top of the dish. Don’t overfill: reserve any excess gravy to serve hot with the pie.

    9. Brush the pastry rim with a little water, then drape the pastry lid over it, pinching the edges to seal. Cover with cling film and keep in the fridge if not baking immediately.

    10. Finally, an hour before serving - preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Make four slashes in the lid of the pie, then brush with the egg wash. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown, turning the heat down 10-20º after about 20 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and leave it to rest for around 10 minutes before cutting into it.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    bonitarosa's picture
    15th Mar, 2018
    This was totally delicious and well worth the effort. Made the night before with homemade beef stock and used beef shin (bone in) I cooked it for 3 hours or more instead. I removed the bones the next day as well as a little of the fat. Cheated with the pastry though and used shop bought. Also took the wrong kidney out of the freezer it was lamb I think but just popped that in 40 mins before the end of cooking. My children loved it too. It's going in the make again file!
    13th Mar, 2018
    Yummy pie. I used pigs kidneys (per my butchers recommendation, they didn’t have ox) and it was delicious. I had leftover filling so made an additional pie with a pre-made puff pastry top for the freezer.
    16th May, 2016
    An excellent pie, but thank you so much for the superb pastry recipe that takes my pie dishes to a higher, more delicious level.
    3rd Jan, 2016
    badly written instructions. presumes that you already know how to make it and skips over detail. For example; "wizz together the flour and a pinch of salt." what?? wizz?? just the flour and salt?? nothing else??
    16th Sep, 2015
    This is a really good recipe, I cooked it for self appointed pie connoisseurs and it didn't disappoint. I added some large chunks of carrot to the stew as I like the way they enhance the flavour but I removed them before making into the pie. A word to the unwise, if you haven't cooked kidney before they need to be soaked in either water and lemon or milk to lessen the smell:( !!
    3rd Oct, 2014
    This pie is awesome. I decided just to leave out the mushrooms. Just a comforting meat feast.
    6th Feb, 2014
    Really tasty pie. My husband & I enjoyed it. Just what you need on a cold winters day
    11th Jan, 2014
    Delicious, I just used reg braising steak and cooked the day before by simmering on the hob. Still tender and tasty, pig kidney which added a lovely flavour to the gravy along with half a bottle of beer. We all enjoyed the pie with mash and veg. A great plan ahead dish.
    16th Apr, 2013
    This is delicious but I make a few alterations. Add 1 bottle of Guinness and top up with marigold stock, also add some carrot and thyme. I can't get Ox Kidney so use lambs but add it later, about 30 mins before the end of cooking. As I live on my own I make individual pies and use ready rolled butter puff pasty (Sainsbury's). However the smell when cooking is lovely and I can't wait for the pot to cool. I transfer one helping into an individual dish and top it with some herby dumplings and put it back in the oven for about 30 mins. Serve this with potatoes and green beans - delicious. With the rest of the casserole I follow the recipe as directed the following day with the pastry top. I give my individual pies to friends and they all love them.
    21st Feb, 2013
    I made this pie for the first time and it was absolutely beautuful! My husband is rather a fussy eater so I kept to the exact recipe and timings. Using high quality ingredients is key, and the ox kidney renders a lovely flavour, without disintegrating into a mush with the lengthy cooking. However, I did cheat a little by using bought shortcrust pastry!


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