Steak and kidney pie

Valentine Warner's take on a British classic uses thrifty but delicious ox cheeks
By Valentine Warner
Steak and kidney pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus 20 mins chilling
  • Effort: medium


For the pastry

  • 225 g strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • large pinch fine sea salt
  • 185 g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 125 ml cold water
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg, beaten, for glazing

For the filling

  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • pinch celery salt
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 kg ox cheeks, cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 x 400 g ox kidney, cleaned, cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1-2 tbsp beef dripping
  • 200 g smoked streaky bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 jar small silverskin pickled onions, drained
  • 200 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves
  • splash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 1 knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 bottle stout
  • 1 pint beef stock
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • olive oil

To serve

  • creamy mashed potato
  • kale

Tips and Suggestions

The pastry will keep for up to three days in the fridge, and at least 4 weeks in the freezer, provided it is tightly wrapped in cling film.

Any leftover pastry trimmings can be stacked up and chilled or frozen for another use. Don't crumple them together in a ball or you will lose the layers.
Allow the pastry to come back to room temperature before rolling.


1. For the pastry: sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the cubes of butter and toss with a large metal spoon until the butter is lightly coated in the flour. Mix the water and lemon juice together and pour into the bowl. Use a butter knife to cut across the mixture several times, chopping the butter into the flour until the mixture comes together to form a loose dough.

2. Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and shape into a fat slab. Roll out to a sheet about 40x20cm. Fold one third of the pastry into the centre, then fold the other end on top. Press the edges firmly with a rolling pin, then rotate the pastry by a quarter turn. Roll out into the same sized rectangle and repeat the folding process. Continue the process five more time, reflouring the work surface to prevent sticking as necessary.

3. Wrap the slab in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

4. For the filling: mix the flour with a generous pinch of celery salt, the mustard powder and freshly ground black pepper. Toss the ox cheeks in the seasoned flour, tip into a large sieve and shake off any excess flour. Salt the kidney pieces and set aside.

5. Melt the dripping in a large, heavy-based casserole. Fry the ox cheeks, in batches, for 5 minutes, or until browned all over. Remove from the casserole and set aside, then repeat with the remaining ox cheeks. Do the same with the salted kidney pieces.

6. Heat a frying pan over a high heat and add the bacon lardons, frying for 2-3 minutes until golden-brown and crisp. Add the mushrooms and fry for a further 1-2 minutes, then add the pickled onions, bay leaves and cloves. Add the Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar malt vinegar and ginger, then cook until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture into the casserole, then deglaze the frying pan with the beer. Pour back into the casserole.

7. Add the ox cheeks to the casserole and top up with beef stock. Bring to a simmer, then cook covered with a lid for 2-3 hours, or until the beef cheeks are tender. Add the kidneys to the casserole for the final hour of cooking. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool before transferring to a 2 litre pie dish.

8. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

9. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until about 2cm larger than the pie dish. Cut off this excess and reserve.

10. Brush the edge of the pie dish with beaten egg and place a pie funnel in the middle of the filling. Place the trimmed pastry pieces around the edge of the pie dish, then lay the remaining pastry over the filling. Knock up the edges with a sharp knife, then lightly score a large diagonal cross-hatch across the top and brush lightly with the beaten egg egg.

11. Bake the pie for 30-35 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown and puffed up and the filling is piping hot. Serve the pie with creamy mash and kale alongside.

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