“Winterfell…When last I was inside those walls, your cook served us a steak and kidney pie. Made with ale, I think, best I ever tasted. What was his name, that cook?”
“Gage,” Jeyne said at once. “He was a good cook. He would make lemoncakes for Sansa whenever we had lemons.” -The Winds of Winter
Huzzah, and rejoice! Another recipe from the Winds of Winter, pulled from a previous excerpt chapter on GRRM’s site.
I admit that I was a tad nervous to make this pie. I’ve had steak and kidney pie before, and loved it, but I’ve also heard reports of kidneys being far too gamey to be enjoyable. However, I was determined to power through, so I found some really nice lamb kidneys at the ever-awesome Savenor’s, and set to work.
I couldn’t be happier with the finished pie. I had a slice for each meal of the day (it makes an amazing breakfast), and was delighted each time. Because the meats are stewed in ale, as per the quote, it’s tender, juicy, and tumbled in a rich gravy. I’ve seen versions with veggies and such mixed in, but I liked the no-nonsense mixture in this pie, which is pretty much just meat.
Recipe for Steak and Kidney Pie
- 3/4 lb. quality lamb kidney (about 4 kidneys)
- 2 lb stew beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 bottle ale
- 1 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp. coarse salt
- 1 stick butter
- ~1/2 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup milk for glaze, or 1 egg, beaten
Cut the kidneys into small pieces, around 1″, avoiding the hard white parts around the middle. In medium heat oil, sear the kidney for a couple of seconds, then add everything else. Cover and simmer for an hour and a half, or until the gravy has thickened. Allow to cool while you roll out the pastry.
Combine the flour and salt, then rub or cut in the butter until it resembles a coarse breadcrumb mixture. Gradually add enough water to pull the whole together. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Divide the pastry dough in two, and roll out to two rounds, about 1/8″ thick. Place one layer of dough in a pie pan, then fill with the cooled meat mixture. Wet the edges, then place the second layer of dough over top. Trim excess dough off the sides, then fold under and seal. Brush with egg or milk, and bake at 400F for around 40 minutes, or until the top is a golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.