As a child my least favourite things my mother would cook for dinner, were what my Grandma called “fage” a potato cake thing, I just googled it and the recipe I found said to fry them in a skillet, but my Mum and Grandma would grill/broil them. I hated the dry potato skin that forms when you bake mashed potato, and it is also the reason I hated my Mum’s Shepherds/cottage pie, the crispy mashed potato on top just makes me gip. I make it every now and again but I have to get the timing absolutely perfect or I can’t eat it. Then there was the liver and onions with bacon, my worst nightmare, I hate most things that involve offal. My Mum would say it’s not that bad chicken liver is milder than other types of liver. To me however, liver is liver and it’s not nice, Glen loves liver and onions though so I make it for him and Mum 30 odd years later is still telling me that chicken liver is milder. I marinate mine in milk overnight which seem to help. Incidentally I did try cooking with chicken liver a little while ago, foolishly I bought two pots because they were super cheap, turns out I really don’t like chicken livers, I would rather just buy whatever else is on offer at the time. I hate broad beans, they were always a horrific and traumatic ordeal as a child. I lived in a different time to kids these days, my Mum didn’t make 5 different meals because one of us didn’t like fish or Shepherd’s pie, she cooked one meal, and we were all expected to sit at the table together and eat everything that was put in front of us, we usually had a dessert for afters, which I suppose was an incentive to eat all our dinner, because the rules were eat everything on your plate and you get pudding, pointless rule really because we always got to eat pudding and the reason, we always got to eat pudding was because of the other rule, which was we weren’t allowed to leave the dinner table until we had eaten everything on our plate. Even if that took hours and it was stone cold by the time we had finished. Broad beans were right up there with the vilest ingredients for me and I would struggle for hours, trying to eat them. And last but certainly not least would have been steak and kidney pie, although my Mum didn’t like kidneys either, but she liked the flavour infusion they gave the pie. I don’t understand that, but I guess it’s the same as saying, I don’t like tomatoes but love tomato soup? This is my recipe for steak and kidney pie.
Steak and Kidney Pie
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
750g stewing steak, cut into cubes
250g kidney, cut into teeny tiny pieces
30g plain flour
200ml beef stock
250g button mushrooms, quartered
2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
100ml double cream
And a beaten egg for glazing
1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet, add the onion and cook until it is glassy, stirring occasionally.
2. Now add the beef and the kidneys cooking until just starting to brown, then add the mushrooms and carry on cooking until the mushrooms are soft and the meat is properly browned. Sprinkle in the flour and stir well to coat all the ingredients in the flour and then add the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce, season to taste, bring to a boil, whilst stirring, partially cover and leave to simmer on a low heat for about 2 hours.
3. After 2 hours check that the meat is done, it should be tender, if necessary leave for a further 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed, stir in the cream and leave to cool.
4. Next roll out your pastry (I buy store bought, because so far it’s the one thing I am yet to beat). Don’t forget it shrinks during the baking process a little so make sure it is big enough.
5. Spoon your beef filling into your pie dish and top with your pastry, using a knife, poke a few holes in the middle of the pastry. Finally brush the top with the egg and bake in the oven at 200˚C/400˚F for about 30 minutes, the pastry should be crisp and golden.