English Beef and Kidney Pie

This old English recipe, adapted to the pot, proved a visual as well as gustatory delight when served at the table right from the pot. The brown pastry crust, when punctured, releases a savory cloud of steam that brings on instant salivation. This is among our most successful, and often repeated, adventures with the versatile pot.

Ingredients

Flour Mixture

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound round steak, cut into I-inch cubes
  • 1 pound beef kidneys, cleaned, deveined, and cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 6 large mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 ten-and-one-half-ounce can condensed beef bouillon
  • 5 leeks, cleaned and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 6 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 4 small new potatoes, cut in half, unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • cup good quality sherry
  • Pastry for a 1-crust pie

Method

Presoak a clay pot, top and bottom, in water for 15 minutes.

Combine the flour, thyme, sage, marjoram, salt, and pepper thoroughly in a paper bag, then add the steak and kidneys and shake. Set aside any leftover flour mixture.

Heat the bacon fat in a frying pan and brown the steak and kidneys. Place in the presoaked pot.

In the same frying pan combine the chopped onion, sliced mushrooms (which have been floured in the remaining flour mixture), and the condensed beef bouillon. Simmer for a few minutes, until thickened, then remove from the heat. Add the leeks, carrots, and new potatoes to the pot, then pour the bouillon mixture over and add the chopped parsley and sherry.

Cover with a flaky crust (your own tried and true recipe) and slash the top to allow steam to escape.

Cover the pot and place it in a cold oven.

Set the oven temperature at 480 degrees.

Cook for 1 hour, removing the lid for the last 5 minutes to brown the crust.

Serve right from the pot.

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