Now that winter is well and truly hear, what better way to warm up in the evening than with a good old fashioned Steak and Kidney Pie. Pair it with a rich red wine and it makes for the perfect night in.
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 tbsp peanut or canola oil
750g braising steak, diced
1 heaped tbsp plain flour
500ml chicken stock
2 bay leave
s Sprig of thyme
4 juniper berries, crushed
4 dried mushrooms,
quartered 150g lamb kidneys, optional, cleaned and diced
Salt and pepper to taste
3 sheets rich puff pastry
1 egg, gently beaten, for glaze
1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, sauté onion with the oil until softened. Increase the heat to high, add steak and cook until browned on all sides.
2. Sprinkle over the flour, cook for a further minute. Add beer, stock, bay leaves, thyme and juniper berries. Reduce heat to medium, cook for 20 minutes or until liquid is reduced by a third.
3. Add the mushrooms and the pieces of kidney and simmer for 1½ hours or until meat is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Cut the puff pastry into four. Sandwich one piece on top of another and repeat until you have six doubled-up pieces. Place on a non-stick baking tray (or non-stick paper on baking tray). Brush with beaten egg and cook for about 10 minutes at 190ºC, until puffy and golden brown.
5. Cut open the pie crust, and fill with mixture. Serve with good mashed potatoes and peas.