In case you didn't get enough Great British stodge celebrating National Chip Week a couple of weeks back, it's now British Pie Week. We're not sure who comes up with all this week-of-the-whatever stuff or decides when conditions are just right for getting excited about chips, pies, etc, but if you're gonna have pie this week you might as well go with the presumed best.
This week also marks the 21st anniversary of the award winning steak and kidney pie recipe developed by publican Carl Smith of Mayfair pubs, the Guinea and the Windmill. His creation has thrice won the national steak pie competition organised by the Meat and Livestock Commission of Great Britain.
Smith and his co-publican wife, Pauline, are to host a pie-tastic range of events at the Windmill (6-8 Mill Street, W1S 2AZ) all this week, including a step-by-step video release of Smith making his award winning pie (Londonist has sampled the pie; it is exceptionally savoury). Tickets for the in-pub screening are on sale now and cost £10. Purchase tickets and find out more about the vid and the rest of the Windmill's Pie Week happenings at www.windmillmayfair.co.uk.
Can't make it to the pub screening? Stay tuned to www.youtube.com/thewindmillmayfair for the same vid to be uploaded later this week. Until then, here's the actual steak and kidney pie recipe to peruse and even try to make at home.
Steak and Kidney Pie
This recipe makes a big pie for 12 people. Halve the amounts for a pie for six.
150g beef dripping
2kg skirt of beef
600g ox kidney
300g sliced white onion
600g field mushrooms
50g plain flour
50ml Worcester sauce
50g English mustard
25ml mushroom ketchup
2 bay leaves
1 sprig thyme
1pt Young's bitter
350ml beef stock
salt and black pepper
500g self raising flour
250g shredded suet
2tbsp fresh parsley
salt and black pepper
- Take the meat out of the fridge two hours before cooking;
- Heat the dripping in a saucepan;
- Add the onions and cook until soft but not coloured;
- Add the skirt of beef and cook until lightly coloured;
- Add the flour and turn up the heat and cook until the meat is nicely browned;
- Add the ox kidney;
- Add all of the other ingredients except the beer and stock, combine well;
- Gradually add the stock and beer;
- Simmer gently until the meat is tender;
- Mix in the fresh parsley;
- Taste the sauce and correct the seasoning if necessary. Let the pie filling cool down before covering with pastry.
Sieve the self raising flour and then add the shredded suet, parsley and seasoning. Gradually add water and combine very carefully and lightly, avoid over working the pastry. The pastry is ready when all of the mixture comes away from the side of the mixing bowl. Roll the pastry into a ball and cover in cling film and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes, allowing the pastry to relax.
Heat the oven to 200c.
Roll the pastry out to around 1cm in thickness and cover the pie mixture. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and place the pie in the oven.
The pie will normally take around 40 to 50 minutes to cook but it's best to test with a probe to ensure that it reaches 75c.