The Ultimate Steak and Kidney Pie

Ultimate steak and kidney pie recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1218 Calories
68g Fat
73g Carbs
79g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1218
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 68g 87%
Saturated Fat 32g 161%
Cholesterol 692mg 231%
Sodium 1021mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 73g 27%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 79g
Vitamin C 4mg 21%
Calcium 103mg 8%
Iron 13mg 72%
Potassium 1210mg 26%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Britain and Ireland are famous for their savory and sweet pies, and a traditional steak and kidney pie is a quintessential example. Not to be confused with steak and kidney pudding, this pie has carried the U.K. through wars and recessions, and today continues to be loved as a hearty and filling comfort food.

In this recipe, a flaky and buttery crust covers a decadent savory filling of beef chuck and beef kidneys flavored by vegetables and beef stock. If you can, purchase some calves' kidneys from your butcher as those are the best kidneys to eat. But beef kidneys are what most cooks use, and are wonderful, too.

This steak and kidney pie recipe can seem a little daunting at first, but it is broken down into simple steps to streamline the process. Plus, the long and slow cooking, which produces a tender filling full of flavor leaves you plenty of time to make the pastry. For a different approach to the crust, try suet instead of butter or lard.

Ingredients

For the Filling:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • Salt (to taste)

  • Black pepper (to taste)

  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck steak (or other tough beef; cut into 1-inch cubes)

  • 1/2 pound beef kidney (cleaned and chopped into 1-inch cubes)

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 2 large onions (thinly sliced)

  • 2 carrots (cut into 1-inch cubes)

  • 3 1/2 cups beef stock (hot)

For the Pastry:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • Pinch of salt

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter (cubed), or an equal mix of butter and lard

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water (cold)

  • 1 large egg (beaten)

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this steak and kidney pie is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for steak and kidney pie filling
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. In a large bowl, place the flour, salt, and pepper.

  3. Add the cubes of steak and kidneys and toss well in the flour until evenly coated.

    Place meat in bowl
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. In a large flameproof casserole dish or ceramic saucepan, heat the butter and oil until the butter has melted.

  5. Add the floured meats in small batches and stir quickly for about 1 minute, or until the cubes have browned. Remove the cooked beef with a slotted spoon and repeat the process until all cubes have been browned. Set the beef aside.

    Browning the meat
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Add the onions and carrots to the same casserole dish and gently sauté for about 5 minutes.

    Add onions and carrots
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  7. Return the meat to the pan, stir, and add the stock.

    Return meat to pan and add stock
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  8. Season with plenty of black pepper and a little salt. Bring to a gentle boil.

  9. Cover with a lid and reduce to a gentle simmer.

  10. Cook slowly for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.

    A wooden spoon in the thickened sauce
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  11. Remove from the heat, place into a 6-cup deep pie dish, and let cool completely.

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Pastry ingredients
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Place the flour, salt, and butter in a large, clean bowl.

    Butter and flour in a bowl
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, working as quickly as possible to prevent the dough from becoming warm.

    Mix flour and butter with hands
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Add the water to the mixture. Using a cold knife, stir until the dough binds together. Add more cold water, a teaspoon at a time, if the mixture is too dry.

    Add the water
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.

    Wrap the dough in plastic wrap
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Assemble and Bake the Pie

  1. Heat the oven to 400 F. Roll out the pastry to 1/8-inch thick and wide enough to cover the pie dish.

    Roll out dough

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. Cut a tiny hole in the center to slip over a steam funnel if using.

  3. Brush the rim of the pie dish with water and place a pie funnel in the center of the filling, if using.

  4. Place the pastry over the dish and funnel, pressing it down, trimming to fit the rim of the dish.

  5. Crimp the edges of the dough using your thumb and first finger.

    Crimping edges of dough
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  6. If not using a pie funnel, cut a small slash in the middle of the crust to allow steam to escape.

  7. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg.

    Brush crust with butter
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  8. Bake for 40 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.

  9. Serve immediately and enjoy.

    Slice of steak and kidney pie with vegetables
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Do I Have to Soak the Kidneys Before Cooking?

Soaking kidneys is a matter of personal choice. Many recipes instruct to soak the kidneys in milk for at least 30 minutes, claiming that this process might purge any leftover animal bodily fluids and provide a milder flavor. Some choose to soak the kidneys in cold water with vinegar and lemon juice, but others simply clean and rinse them well and claim that's enough to get rid of impurities.