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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. Hello! The recipe seems very tasty and I’m keen to try it, but I have a slow cooker that only has low/medium/high settings and not the ‘auto’ like yours, would you use ‘low’ instead? Thanks

    • Yes, Key – play safe, even though it may take longer.
      Just check it at reasonable intervals.

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi John and Fiona

    So pleased that you enjoyed my recipe.

    I’ve seen mushroom ketchup in Tesco and Waitrose locally. I like the idea of using the shitake mushroom paste I must keep my eyes peeled for this!

    Thanks for leaving a comment.

  3. John & Fiona

    We did the slow cooked version of the steak and kidney pie in a slow cooker. It really was a magnificent tasty recipe, thank you for posting it. The only difficult ingredient was the mushroom ketchup, which only one company seems to do so we improvise with a shitake mushroom paste from a Chineses grocers in Leytonstone. It seemed to work as the pie was very tender and incredibly moreish. Suffice to say we plan to make another soon.

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mildred,

    Perhaps I’ll give it a go. At the moment I am enjoying the fact that I’ve weaned D off puff pastry and onto short crust!

  5. Fi, Puff Pastry really is a doddle once you know what you are doing (as with most things!).

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mildred

    I couldn’t do without my kidney fix once in a while! How clever of you to make your own puff pastry!

    Hi Keth

    The Parma ham seal idea sounds wonderful and the flavours would add to the steak and kidney. Thanks for this tip. I don’t watch telly at the moment so I often miss the new ideas.

    I often put smoked bacon into bolognaise sauce. Yummy.

    Hi Amanda

    I’ll post on Magimix pastry tonight!

    Hi Kate(uk)

    That’s what I like about going to a decent butchers shop. They love meat and so do you. Much better than grabbing a pack from a supermarket shelf.

  7. Kate(uk)

    I know the feeling about salivating at the butcher’s after a few days of veg- I bought myself some liver this afternoon and felt rather bad about getting quite hungry while he was slicing it for me…

  8. YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY…. ad infinitum!

    Love Kethry’s suggestion of using parma ham to make the seal.

    AND… please could you share your quick magimix pastry recipe – pretty please?

  9. i wouldn’t normally suggest this as it strikes me as being rather an expensive way of doing it.. but since you’re alphacarnivoring.. jamie last night was cooking a leek dish, with a similar thing – instead of parchment he used slices of parma ham, after they were cooked he cut them up and stirred the slices into the leek. It would give a lovely depth to the steak and kidney pie mix – a good bolognaise sauce, for example, has bacon bits in it, so same principle.

    keth
    xx

  10. Yum! This sounds delicious! We do a steak and mushroom pie, as I am not keen on kidney. I have just got the hang of puff pastry so we top it with that! I use an old pie funnel.

    Just the job for cold, wet, grey winter days! Food fit for a king!

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