The Scottish pie
( SERVES 5 )
Is there any greater comfort food than steak and kidney pie?
- Trim all the fat from the rump steak. Put the pieces of fat into a frying pan over a low heat until the fat melts.
- Remove from the heat. Leave the melted fat in the pan while lifting out and discarding the scraps.
- Cut the steak into 2cm cubes. Cut the kidney off its white core. Discard the core and cut the kidney into very small pieces.
- Return the frying pan to the heat and add the onions. Fry until the onions are starting to brown, then use a fish slice to transfer them to a heavy saucepan.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the diced steak with the flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.
- Add a little oil to the pan so that the bottom is covered and heat until very hot. Add the floured steak and brown on all sides.
- You may need to do this in 2 batches. When the steak has started to brown, add the kidney and let it brown, too.
- Remove the frying pan from the heat and transfer the browned meat to the saucepan.
- Add the water, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce and vinegar to the frying pan, return to the heat and scrape up any pan residues.
- Add to the meat and onions in the saucepan. Cover and simmer very gently for an hour until the meat is very tender and the surrounding sauce slightly thickened.
- Check from time to time during the cooking period, as you may need to add a little more water.
- If the sauce hasn't thickened enough, remove the lid for the last 20 minutes of cooking. Set aside until completely cold.
- An hour before dinnertime, preheat the oven to 200C. Transfer the cold pie-filling to a 23cm diameter, deep pie-dish or rectangular Pyrex baking dish.
- If you have one, place a pie funnel in the middle of the filling. Roll out the pastry to medium thin and cut to fit the pie-dish.
- If you are using a pie funnel, cut a cross in the middle of the pastry so that the funnel can push through easily.
- Cut an extra strip 1cm wide and long enough to reach around the top of the pie-dish. Press this strip of pastry firmly on to the edge of the pie-dish.
- Brush with milk. Lay the pastry over the top of the pie and press down firmly on to the strip of pastry.
- Cut a few slits in the top of the pastry and brush lightly with milk. Put into the oven on a baking tray to catch any drips.
- Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is well-browned and the aroma is irresistible. Serve immediately.