ox cheek and kidney pie

steak and kidney pie is a childhood favourite of mine – i used to particularly love the contrast between the meltingly tender steak and the slightly firmer kidney, especially when there was a large dollop of hp sauce on the side of my plate, to dip everything into.

i wasn’t keen on the pastry, though. i’ve never been a big fan of pastry and always need exciting fillings to persuade myself its worth the effort (when i say effort, i usually mean rolling out the pack of bought all-butter puff pastry – my hands are too warm to make my own with any great success). as a result, when i do make pie i usually limit myself to a pastry lid, much to david’s disappointment – he dreams of pies encased with pastry.

so, here one is – a rich and unctuous ox cheek and kidney filling encased by homemade shortcrust pastry.

the filling was a mix of braised ox cheeks, flavoured with bay and star anise (i adapted this recipe) plus quickly fried lamb’s kidney (beef kidney would be too strong; pork would also be fine). the pastry was courtesy of delia, a mix of butter and margarine, and the result was delicious.

working out how to do this, having never made an enclosed pie before, was a bit tricky but 150g of pastry (made with 100g flour) and a metal pie tin (with holes pierced in the base to ensure a crispy bottom) plus a 200c oven for half an hour was all i needed.

very easy, very delicious and good for making both david and i happy.