Yorkshire Steak and (not) Kidney Pie. by Pat Farr

Believe it or not, these steak and mushroom (not kidney) pies taste even better than they look

 

This is (in my opinion) a superb replacement for the traditional steak and kidney pie my Mom used to make.  In this technique the mushrooms have a distinctly different texture to the beef, somewhat reminiscent of the texture of the kidney that is traditionally used.

 

The dough

3            c                           White flour

1            c                           Vegetable shortening

1-1/4    t                            Salt

¾           c                          Ice water

Egg/water wash for brushing

Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients until it is completely evenly incorporated into tiny clumps.  Slowly incorporate the ice water using your fingertips until it can form a  loose ball.  Don’t knead it or work it with anything your fingertips.  Wrap and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, up to a day.

The filling

3            lb                         Cubed braising beef (see below)

1 to 2   lb                          Brown (crimini), cleaned whole mushrooms, about 1”

½           c                         Carrots, finely chopped

½           c                         Celery, finely chopped

½           c                         Onion, coarsely chopped

1            T                          Minced garlic

2            c                          Rich beef broth

1            T                          Thyme

Salt and pepper, garlic powder (to rub into the beef)

1            T                          Brown sauce or 1 t Worcestershire Sauce

Flour for coating the uncooked beef

Flour/water mix for thickening (if necessary)

Oil for browning the beef

Optional (see below)

2            c                           Firm, cooked, diced potatoes and/or turnip, diced to ½”

Making the pies 

Buy a 3-3-1/2 lb chuck roast and remove most of the fat and any cartilage.  I like about a one-inch cube, but the size can vary and I like it better if the cubes aren’t all the same size.  Rub the salt, pepper and garlic powder into the beef cubes.  Toss in flour to lightly coat.

Heat the oil in a cast-iron (or your choice) oven-proof lidded pan.  In small batches, quickly brown the beef on all sides.  Add the beef back into the pan and toss in the carrot, celery, and onion.  Stir in the broth and thyme and bring to a simmer.  Place it in a 300-degree oven, lidded, to braise for about 2 hours.  You can braise on the stove top, but it needs to be watched.

After the beef is ridiculously tender, taste and add Worcestershire Sauce if desired.  Thicken the mixture if necessary with a flour-water blend.  (It should not be necessary).

Stir in the uncooked mushrooms.

After the cooking, you can add the cooked potatoes and turnip and stir in, if you’d like.  Or not.

At this point you can allow the stew to cool to room temperature.

The assembly

Evenly divide the marvelous filling into six dishes.  I use a 5” diameter basin.

Cut the dough and roll into six even-sized balls, then roll flat, about 1-1/2” larger than the dish diameter.  Lay the rounds over the dishes, then press and pinch the overlap down from the rim. Brush with egg wash and bake at 425-degrees F for 30 minutes.  Start checking after about 20 minutes to make sure they brown to your liking.

Serve to me and your friends and family with a nice salad and Henderson’s Brown Sauce or A-1.  Eat them warm or cold, today or tomorrow.  In Yorkshire it’s preferred to serve these remarkable creations with chips on the side.

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