Henrietta from Devon, one of my most avid viewers, suggested I make Steak and Kidney Pie. She remembered this pie from her schooldays and told me that it had a suet top.. It was, apparently, made in a loaf tin. I loved the suggestion. However, I really do not like kidney in any form, except my own to which I am quite attached. So I decided to make this Steak & Mushroom Suet Crust Pie.
I decided to use a larger pan. The dimensions were 9 inches(23 cm) by 11 inches(27cm). But, of course, slightly different dimensions would work too. Indeed, for those who have only a 9 inch(23 cm) round pie dish, adjusting the recipe is easy. If you require a smaller pie, such as that you can simply halve the ingredients for the filling and use two thirds of the ingredients for the suet crust. That will be just perfect.
Now, I could have used a nice thick suet pastry for the top. But I rather liked the suet crust on my Teviotdale Pie. That had a lovely, thick, cake-like crust with a wonderful flavour imparted by the suet. So I decided that it would be great for this pie.
A pie must have a great filling, of course. My filling was steak and mushrooms. A mirepoix of onion, carrot and celery forms a flavoursome base for the filling. That combination, with the steak and the mushrooms with a rich gravy is simply perfect.
For those, like Henrietta, who like kidney, can use it instead of the mushrooms. But, the kidney will not take long to cook so should be added towards the end of cooking time.
The recipe does take quite some time to make the pie. That is because the steak is cooked slowly for two hours. Which time is in addition to the preparation and pre-cooking/browning. A cooking time of 45 minutes then finishes the pie.
I was very pleased with my pie. It cooked perfectly. The suet crust rose well. The filling was rich, with a thick and tasty gravy.
I enjoyed my dinner immensely, after delivering the remainder of the pie to my niece and her husband.
They reported back that it was very good indeed.
Steak & Mushroom Suet Crust PieCourse: DinnerCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Medium
1kg(2.2 lbs) steak, diced (skirt, chuck, stewing steak)
250g(9 oz) mushrooms, sliced
200g(7 oz) onions, grated
100g(3 1/2 oz) carrots, grated
100g(3 1/2 oz) celery, grated
160ml(2/3 cup) beef stock
300ml(1 1/4 cups) dark ale or stout
75g(1/2 cup, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
2 bay leaves
10ml(2 tsp) Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried rosemary, or herb of choice.
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying meat to brown.
- Suet Crust
337g(2 1/4 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
18g(4 1/2 tsp) baking powder
450ml(2 cups minus 2 tbsp) milk
37g(4 1/2 tbsp) cornflour
112g(1 cup) shredded suet
1 tsp dried thyme(optional)
salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pan place the mushrooms and cook them on a medium-low heat until they release their moisture and it has all evaporated.
- Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl until later.
- Toss the steak in the flour until all is completely coated.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of oil into the large pan and heat it.
- Fry off the steak pieces, turning over, until browned. Do this in batches adding more oil as necessary.
- Transfer the browned steak into the bowl with the mushrooms.
- Using a little more oil, if necessary add the onions, carrots and celery and stir them around.
- Cook the vegetables on a medium heat, stirring all the time, until they have sweated down to about half their original size.
- Sprinkle the thyme over the vegetables, if using.
- Add the steak and mushrooms back into the pan and stir to mix into the vegetables.
- Put the bay leaves in as well.
- Pour in the ale, stock and Worcestershire Sauce.
- Stir around again and then bring everything to boiling.
- Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2 hours, until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.
- Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
- Add salt and pepper to season.
- Transfer the meat filling to the baking pan, with a little of the sauce., removing the bay leaves in the process.
- Thicken the remaining meat sauce by heating and reducing, if necessary, to use as gravy.
- As the cooking time comes to an end place the flour, baking powder, cornflour and suet into a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Pour in the milk, in three or four additions, and mix until the mixture is thick and fully combined. There will still be pieces of suet visible as lumps in the mixture.
- Carefully spoon the suet mixture onto the filling, starting around the edge of the pan ensuring that it touches the edge, until the meat is entirely covered.
- Bake the pie in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the crust has risen somewhat and has turned a golden colour. It is likely to crack on the top, that is fine.
- Test just the crust by poking a skewer into it and check that it comes out clean.
- Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.