The Ultimate Steak and Kidney Pie

Ultimate steak and kidney pie recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Chill Time: 15 mins
Total: 3 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 1 large pie
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
588 Calories
35g Fat
29g Carbs
39g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 588
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 17g 84%
Cholesterol 350mg 117%
Sodium 471mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 6mg 33%
Potassium 592mg 13%
*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.

"The steak and kidney pie was very good and flavorful. The pie filling and crust worked well and it was an easy preparation overall. I recommend soaking the cubed kidneys for about an hour in cold water with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and a bit of salt." —Diana Rattray

Steak and kidney pie
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Filling:

  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck steak, or similar, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1/2 pound beef kidney, cleaned and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, more as needed

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, more as needed

  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 3 1/2 cups hot beef stock

For the Pastry Dough:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed, or an equal mix of butter and lard

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons cold water

  • 1 large egg

Steps to Make It

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for steak and kidney pie filling
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Add the steak, kidney, flour, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Toss until well coated.

    Place meat in bowl
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, heat the 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil on medium-high heat.

  4. When the butter melts, add the meat to the pan, in batches if necessary. Cook until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes per batch. Refresh the butter and oil in the pan between batches as needed. Remove the meat to a plate as it becomes done. Set aside.

    Browning the meat
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. If the pan is dry, refresh with 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onions and carrots. Cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

    Add onions and carrots
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Return the meat to the pan with any accumulated juices from the plate. Add the stock and stir to combine.

    Return meat to pan and add stock
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the cover and continue to cook to thicken the sauce, stirring frequently, 30 minutes more.

    A wooden spoon in the thickened sauce
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  8. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat, place into a 6-cup deep pie dish, and let cool completely.

Make the Pastry Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

    Butter and flour in a bowl
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers 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 2 tablespoons of water to the mixture. Using a cold knife, stir until the dough binds together. Add more water, a teaspoon at a time if the dough is too dry.

    Add the water
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Form the dough into a disk, wrap, and chill for about 30 minutes.

    Wrap the dough in plastic wrap
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Assemble and Bake the Pie

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat 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. Alternatively, cut 3 to 4 (1-inch) slits in the center of the dough to vent the filling while baking.

  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 (if using), 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. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash.

    Brush crust with butter
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  7. Bake until the pastry is crisp and golden, about 40 minutes.

  8. Serve immediately.

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

How to Prepare Beef Kidney

  • If there is a membrane surrounding the beef kidney, remove it.
  • Cut the kidney in half lengthwise.
  • Remove and discard as much of the visible fat as possible before cutting the kidney into small cubes.
  • Put the cubes of kidney in a bowl and cover with cold water.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and a dash of salt.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Recipe Variations

  • Add extra flavor to the filling by adding a bay leaf and a dash of dried leaf thyme to the onions. Remove the bay leaf before filling the pie.
  • Add a bit of tanginess to the filling with a dash of Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard.

How to Store Steak and Kidney Pie

  • Cover and refrigerate leftover steak and kidney pie within 2 hours and eat within 3 days.
  • To reheat, place the pie on a baking sheet (or place individual slices in a baking dish) and heat in a preheated 350 F oven for about 15 to 25 minutes, or until it reaches 165 F, the minimum safe temperature for leftovers.
  • The filling may be made a day in advance and refrigerated. Remove it from the refrigerator about 1 hour before you plan to make the pastry and bake the pie.

Is ox kidney the same as beef kidney?

Yes, a kidney labeled "ox kidney" is a beef kidney.

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.