A Brit, a Yank and a Kitchen

Sunday, January 21

Steak & Kidney Pie

Let me just take this moment to say raw beef kidney smells like shit. Literally. So much so that I fear that I may be put off from kidney!!!! =( I'd never handled raw kidney before... and I mean it makes sense that it should smell that way... but really... I wasnt expecting it to be THAT obvious.

Okay.. now that I have you all good and appetized for some shitty offal... let me tell you about this FANTASTIC Steak & Kidney pie!!!

Don't get me wrong... I really like Steak & Kidney pie... and even more importantly.. its one of Dave's all time favorites. So I put my mind to it that I would make Dave a good steak and kidney pie, since I'd found some kidneys at Wal-Mart.

I dug up a recipe from one of Dave's old school Brit cookbooks.... and modified it a bit since I am too much of a slacker to make my own crust! It turned out to be a really, really, good pie... even if it did smell like poo.

Steak & Kidney Pie

1 large onion, chopped
3 ounces butter
1.25 lbs beef stew meat
.5 lb kidneys, cut into pieces
1/3 C flour, seasoned with salt & pepper
1 Bayleaf
1 T parsley
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1.5 C beef stock (I just used OXO)
2 T tomato puree

Fry the onion in the butter til well browned. Set aside.
Toss the steak and kidneys in flour, and saute lightly... transfer to a casserole. Add onion to meats. Add bayleaf, parsley and a generous sprinkling of salt & pepper.
Mix the stock with the worcestershire sauce and tomato puree and pour it over the meat mixture. Cover and simmer in a 325 degree oven for one hour or until the meat is just tender. Remove and allow to cool.

Place a sheet of puff pastry over top... poke a hole in the middle, and brush with a whisked egg.
Place in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until the pastry shell is golden.


Anonymous Ros said...

I haven't cooked with beef kidney before, but if you soak lamb kidneys in milk for a couple of hours they smell a lot less. It should work with beef too I think.

That's a nice looking pie!I also buy pastry instead of making crust myself... it takes way too much time!

4:47 AM  
Blogger wheresmymind said...

I hope you had this with a couple pints!

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, that is so alarming! They smell like poo. I don't know what to say.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Renz said...

I found your post after googling "recipe kidneys smell"

Last week I tried cooking pork kidneys, first time, and was also unprepared for the stink--but mine smelled like piss (which makes lots of sense, too).

Supposedly blanching the kidneys takes the smell off, but I didn't think it worked. Maybe it's also a freshness issue?

10:33 PM  
Blogger adina said...

i'm braising some beef kidneys at this very moment, but was so alarmed by the smell that i googled 'smell beef kidney'. good to know that they're supposed to smell like poo. and i even soaked mine in water and vinegar for an hour.

i'm so turned off by it, but i'm taking your word that it tastes better than it smells! pee yoo!

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in the north of England in the 60s where offal was a staple so we were used to the smell - behind the place where I lived was a tripe yard where they would clean and dress tripe and other offal to go out to retailers !

However for those not used to it the smell can be off putting. Soaking kidney and liver in milk does indeed reduce the smell and will also mellow the taste BUT an hour or two just won't cut it, overnight is your best bet.

I remember my grandmother used to use the resulting dark red milk ( we couldn't afford to waste anything ) in sauces and gravy. You can actually use it in the sauce for the pie which is the equivalent of cooking the kidneys until all their juices are cooked but without turning them to rubber.

I personally soak my kidneys in Guinness or Beamish ( has to be a joke there somewhere :-) ) overnight and then make a reduction of the liquid and stock to add to the pie.....very dark and rich.


8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you boil the Kidney first whole, dump the dirty water and refill and boil it again and do this perhaps 3 times till it is cleaner the smell is not there at all then cut and clean and slice it up makes a great pie

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason it smells like crap is because you bought a kidney from Wal-mart!
Get a kidney from a 100% grass-fed farmer and there won't be a bad smell. I eat raw kidney a lot and it's my one of my favorite foods, so if the kidney smells like shit, it's just reflecting the quality.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What ever the smell and pain, a good steak & kidney pie is worth it!!!

Looks lovely and wish I had one here now. North Carolina is a wonderful place but not a great source for steak & kidney pies!

Wigan Bob

10:12 PM  
Blogger DeadBug said...

Use veal kidney, not the older beef kidney, if you can find it. I don't think they smell like poo. ;)

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like a wonderful pie with a nice, rich sauce. I really need to learn how to make puff pastry - shortcrust is easy enough, but I prefer the texture of puff pastry with a S&K pie. Years ago I remember toiling over a steak, kidney and Guinness pudding for my parents...I had no idea how much bottled stout to use so I just guesstimated it - it was the most inedible thing I've ever cooked, just about! You could paint the sauce on kids' fingernails to stop them biting them!!

12:46 PM  

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