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The slow cooker chef: Tasty steak and kidney pie recipe for alpha carnivores

slow cooked staek and kidney pieAs the mention of steak and kidney led me to buy our slow cooker, there had to be a ceremonial christening of the beast with meat. Last Saturday I motored into Newmarket to buy the essential ingredients for this mission. I had two alternatives on my list – oxtail or steak and kidney.
“Well I’ve got both, so which would you prefer?” Smiled our excellent butcher, Fred Fitzpatrick.
I dilly dallied as both were equally tempting. I finally plumped for steak and kidney. Having chomped through several vegetarian days, just watching him slice the shin of beef was a mouth watering joy.

The recipe is almost the same as our slow cooked steak and kidney pie with two exceptions. There is no need to fry the onions or the meat. Following Angela’s instructions, I rolled the chopped meat in seasoned flour. I also cooked the mushrooms (that are added towards the end) separately in a little oil and white wine before adding them to the dish. Although the slow cooker at 300 watts uses far less electricity than the fan oven I was dubious that the dish could be as good as our old favourite. I was delighted to discover that it was better and next time I am going to put some baking parchment under the lid to make a decent seal and intensify the flavours even more.

I cooked this dish for ten hours in the slow cooker on auto. This clever setting brings all ingredients to the right temperature before switching to low. It was exquisite and made enough filling for four pies to feed two greedy people. I topped the pies with shortcrust pastry (made in seconds in the Magimix).

Tasty steak and kidney pie recipe for alpha carnivores (8 portions)

Ingredients:

  • 850g shin of beef (ask your butcher to dice this roughly for you). Shin of beef makes perfect steak and kidney if you have them time to let it simmer for hours. If you are in a hurry we have a quick steak and kidney recipe here
  • 1 ox kidney (available from a good butcher. I’ve also seen it at Waitrose. It has a much better flavour than lamb or pig and is easier to prepare)
  • 6 carrots, skinned, trimmed and cut into 3 cm lengths
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 250g of Chestnut mushrooms (or Portabello). Three or four in the stew and the rest sliced, sauteeds and added towards the end
  • 750ml of boiling homemade brown stock (beef stock cube will do at a pinch). This must cover the meat and vegetables so adjust if necessary
  • Handful of thyme sprigs (8-10)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • half a handfull handful of dried wild mushrooms (secret ingredient). Soaked in boiling water to cover and chopped (1 cm) when cool enough to handle (retain the juice and add to the pot)
  • 4 tbsp of plain flour (seasoned with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • A dessertsppon of Lea and Perrins Sauce
  • 2 tbsp of mushroom ketchup
  • 8 juniper berries
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of potato flour (to thicken the gravy)
  • 400g of shortcrust pastry

Method:

  1. Remove the white core (our dogs love this bit simmered for ten minutes and chopped fine) from the kidney and chop into 2 cm cubes.
  2. Cut the fat from the beef but leave the gristle in. Slow cooking will break down the gristle completely and form the basis of the rich sauce.
  3. Toss the beef and kidneys in the flour to coat and add to the slow cooker
  4. Add the onions, carrots and 3 or 4 whole mushrooms. Stir well
  5. Add the balsamic, thyme, and porcini mushrooms and their juice. Add a good dash of Lea and Perrins and 2 tbsp of mushroom ketchup. Add the juniper berries and peppercrons. Stir well.
  6. Add the hot stock and stir.
  7. Set the dial to auto and cook for 10 hours.
  8. Towards the end of the cooking time slice the remaining Chestnet mushrooms and sautee in a little oil and white wine/vegetable stock until tender. Stir these into the steak and kidney filling.
  9. Whilst the mushrooms are cooking add a little of the gravy (liquid from the saucepan or pot) to the potato flour to make a wet paste (no lumps) and stir it into the stew
  10. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  11. Pour your filling into a cold pie dish. Line the edge of the pie dish with a strip of pastry and brush with beaten egg before putting on the lid. Press the lid firmly with a finger all the way round before trimming the lid (leave 1 cm overhang to allow for shrinkage). Make a couple of holes in the top to allow air to escape and brush with beaten egg or milk.
  12. Bake in the centre of the oven at 180c (160c fan) for 30 minutes and then increase the heat to 200c (180c fan) for ten minutes to brown the top if necessary.

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12 Comments

  1. I already have 650g of lamb kidneys. I ended up here because I was looking for a recipe in which I could use them, and I love steak and kidney pie. Will they work in this recipe (even though not as good as ox kidney)? Would they handle the long cooking time alright?

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