It’s getting cold, the nights are fair drawin’ in and I fancy a home-made steak and kidney pie with mounds of buttery mash. Try this recipe – it makes me feel better just thinking about it.


100g ox kidney

1kg best Scotch stewing steak

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon plain flour

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

300ml hot beef stock plus 300ml hot water

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

500g pack puff pastry, defrosted

1 egg yolk, beaten


Pre-heat medium oven 180c/Gas 4.

Ease the outer skin from the kidneys, cut away the middle white fibres. Soak in cold water with a little white vinegar for 15 minutes. This helps to keep the kidneys from going tough.

Rinse and cut into small cubes.

Trim the beef of excess fat and cut into 3-4cm pieces.

Season generously with sea salt and black pepper.

Choose a heavy bottomed casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid.

Heat the oil and add the beef in a single layer, turning it in the heat until it is well browned. Set aside and continue in batches until all the meat is well browned and set aside.

Add the flour to the saucepan and stir round, releasing all the crusty pieces stuck to the sides.

Return the meat back to the saucepan.

Add the Worcester sauce, the sliced onion and kidney.

Add the warm beef stock and hot water and stir everything together, bringing the stew to a simmer.

Add the thyme, fit the lid tightly and cook in the bottom of the oven for at least 1 ½ to 2 hours, checking after an hour to make sure the stew has not dried out. Check seasoning.

The stew is ready when the meat is tender and moist, the gravy thick and tasty.

Decant the stew into a pie dish that is big enough to leave 3-4 cm space at the top.

Leave to cool.

Pre-heat a hot oven, 220c/Gas 7

Roll out the pastry big enough to fit over the sides of the dish.

Put an egg cup or a ‘ceramic blackbird’ in the middle of the dish.

Brush the edges of the dish with some milk and lay the pastry over it. Crimp the edges of the pastry and press it down to seal along the edges.

Score the pie and cut a few holes in the top to let the steam escape.

Brush with beaten egg yolk and bake in the middle shelf of the oven for 15 minutes, until the pastry is browned and risen then lower the heat to 180c/Gas Mark 4 and finish heating through for 20 minutes more.