Steak, Kidney and Oyster Pie

Start preparation the day before required.

Ingredients

  • lb / 680 g rump steak
  • ½ pt / 280 ml bitter ale or stout
  • 8 oz / 230 g veal or lamb kidney
  • 12 pickling onions or 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 oz / 30 g seasoned flour
  • 1 sprig parsley
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ pt / 280 ml beef stock
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oysters (or more)
  • 8 oz / 230 g puff, rough puff or flaky pastry
  • beaten egg and milk, to glaze

Method

Trim the fat and gristle off the meat, and cut it into 1 in / 2.5 cm cubes. Put the meat in a bowl and marinate it in the bitter or stout for about 1 hour. Remove any fat from the kidney and the fine membrane. Snip out the central core, and cut the kidney into small chunks. Cover and refrigerate until required. Peel the onions, slice the large one, if using, and, in a flameproof casserole, fry in the olive oil until golden brown. Drain the marinade from the meat, and put to one side. Dry the beef thoroughly, and toss it in the seasoned flour, shaking off and reserving the excess. Fry until browned all over. Tie the herbs together in a bouquet garni and put them together in the casserole with the beef and onion. Strain the marinade over the meat, and add half the stock. Bring to the boil, skim any foam from the surface, lower the heat, cover and simmer gently for about 1 hour or until the beef is tender. About 30 minutes after starting to cook the beef, toss the kidneys in the remaining seasoned flour, fry them briefly and add to the casserole. Season to taste, but remember that the oysters, which you add later, will be a little salty. Remove from the heat, cool as quickly as possible and chill overnight.

The next day, spoon the meat and onions into a suitable pie dish and the jellylike gravy into a small saucepan. Add the remaining ¼ pt / 140 ml stock to the saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce until you have about 7 fl oz / 200 ml liquid, enough to make the pie filling nice and juicy. Allow to cool. Meanwhile, carefully open the oysters, and arrange these on top of the meat, distributing them in such a way that each portion of pie will contain some oysters when you cut it. Strain the oyster liquid over the filling, and pour the cooled reduced meat juices over it. Roll out the pastry (not too thin), and use to cover the pie, pinching it round the rim of the pie dish to seal it. Cut off any overhanging pastry, and from it, stamp out some form of decoration, to stick on top of the pie crust, if you wish. Brush the pastry with the glaze, and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C / 400°F / Mark 6 for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180°C / 350°F / Mark 4 and bake for a further 15 minutes, moving the pie to a lower oven shelf if necessary.