British Pie Week…1st-7th March 2021.

Pies have been recorded as early as the Neolithic Period, around 9500 BC. The ancient Egyptians’ diet featured basic pies made from oat, wheat, rye, and barley, and filled with honey and baked over hot coals…

I would never get into a discussion as to who makes the best pies as all around the world if you start a discussion on the merits of pie…Someone’s mum always makes the best pies for me my mum does…Be it Steak and Kidney, Fish Pie, Mince pies or an Apple pie her pastry is the best and her pies lauded …

A pie can have a top and a bottom or just a top and it could be a pastry or potato topping…Plain or latticed…There is no end to the variations of the fillings or the case or indeed the type of pastry…

My Hubbies all-time favourite is the Steak and Kidney Pie…

Speaking of which however hot it gets and it is currently only 10am and 30C and rising…Hubby will still eat meat pie…I make individual ones and then he can have pie and I have my Thai food…

two meat pies

For fillings, I either make mince and onions, Steak and Mushroom, Steak and Ale or hubby’s favourite steak and kidney…Chicken and Mushroom or Chicken and Leek Pie…BUT of course not forgetting the British favourite Apple Pie…

For the pastry

  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 140g cold unsalted butter, roughly cubed
  • 1 large egg  yolk
  • 1 small egg  whisked with 1 tbsp milk, for the egg wash

For the filling…Steak & Kidney

  • 1 ox kidney, about 400g/14oz, get it fresh from your butcher. Pig’s and lamb’s kidneys only need short cooking time so if used add 15 mins before the end of cooking.
  • 1 kg trimmed braising or stewing beef
  • 250g flat mushrooms, unpeeled but wiped with a damp cloth
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion,  peeled and thickly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 50-85g plain flour, depending on how thick you like your gravy
  • 600ml fresh stock or  water and 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Let’s Cook!

It’s important to cook the meat a day ahead so that you can discard any fat that has risen to the top, and so that the pastry doesn’t slump in the face of a too-warm filling, so up to 48 hours ahead -make the pastry. Whizz the flour and a pinch of fine sea salt together for a few seconds in a food processor, then add the butter and whizz until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk together the egg yolk and 3 tbsp water and whizz with the pastry until it collects in a ball. Wrap in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least one hour…


Cut out the white central core of the kidney and  (discard). Cut the kidney into bite-sized pieces. Cut the beef into bite-sized cubes and cut the mushrooms into chunks.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Throw in the kidney and fry until lightly coloured. Tip into a colander to drain.

Wipe out the frying pan and return it to low-medium heat, adding 25g/1oz of the butter and 1 tbsp oil. Tip in the onion and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly golden add the garlic for the final 2/3 minutes.

Transfer to a large casserole, using a slotted spoon.

Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3/fan 140C. Tip the 85g/3oz flour into a large plastic bag, and season it generously. Throw in the beef and shake until lightly floured. Return the frying pan to medium-high heat, adding a little more oil and butter if needed. Shake off any excess flour (reserving it) then fry the beef in batches until golden-brown. As each batch is done, transfer it to the casserole.

Adding more oil and butter to the frying pan if necessary, fry the mushrooms for about 2 minutes until starting to wilt, then add them to the casserole with the drained kidneys, stock or hot water, bouillon powder and bay leaf, plus the excess flour in the bag if you like a thick gravy.

Stir well, cover and cook in the oven for 75-90 minutes until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick. Cool thoroughly, then put in the fridge (preferably overnight) so any fat will solidify – it can then be skimmed off and discarded the next morning.

In the morning – return the pastry to cool room temperature, then roll it out thinly on a well-floured surface. Invert a 28-30x23cm, 6.5cm deep pie dish on to the pastry. Mentally add an extra 1cm all round, then use the dish as a guide to cut out the pastry lid. From the remnants, cut out enough 6cm-wide strips of pastry to go round the dish – they should cover the flat rim and about halfway down the insides.

Lightly butter the rim of the dish and line it with the strip(s) of pastry, sealing any joins with a little dab of water. Butter the shoulders of a pie raiser or an upturned egg cup and stand it in the middle. Spoon in the meat mixture to come level with the top of the dish.

Don’t overfill: reserve any excess gravy to serve hot with the pie.

Brush the pastry rim with a little water, then drape the pastry lid over it, pinching the edges to seal. Cover with cling film and keep in the fridge if not baking immediately.

Finally, an hour before serving – preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Make four slashes in the lid of the pie, then brush with the egg wash. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown, turning the heat down 10-20º after about 20 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and leave it to rest for around 10 minutes before cutting into it.

These instructions are if you are making one large pie…If I am making individual pies I just cut a strip of pastry to go around the top of the dish fill the dish with the meat mixture and add a pastry top…This cuts the calories…But if you like a large pie and want to cut nice slices then a pie bottom can be added.

Of course, the cooking time will also need to be adjusted…For an individual pie depending on your oven, it takes approx 25 mins.

To celebrate British  Pie Week... Tweet  #britishpieweek


We can’t forget to mention the Apple Pie…Can We?

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a lovely weekend I look forward to your comments and what your favourite pie is… Enjoy your pie  xx

53 thoughts on “British Pie Week…1st-7th March 2021.

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      1. CarolCooks2 Post author

        For someone who doesn’t eat a lot of processed food, I make an exception for McDonald Apple Pies…I love them…Here they do Pineapple instead of Apple, Corn, Curry Crab Stick and Carbonara like an eggy deep-fried pie x


  3. Adele Marie

    Although I am a veggie I love my pies. I make a mean leek and cheese pie or a cheese and onion pie oh and please don’t forget the amazing butter pie. Oh, Carol, you have made me so hungry lol. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Clive

    ‘British Pie Week’ is actually a marketing campaign, created by Jus-Rol, a company that makes…you guessed it…pastry. I don’t need the excuse of an artificial week to eat a pie, anyway – I have a nice pork pie lined up for my tea tonight 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. CarolCooks2 Post author

        Thais don’t like pastry like we do…they make it because they know we do but it isn’t the same some things you just can’t replicate and a good pie is one of them 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Clive

        The type of pastry is important too – a pork pie isn’t the same without the crusty, slightly greasy exterior, but I wouldn’t want that on an apple pie!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. CarolCooks2 Post author

        Absolutely, Clive…pork pie has a hot water crust pastry…Apple pie shortcrust or a puff/flaky pastry although I prefer a nice buttery shortcrust…Have a great weekend 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

  5. johnrieber

    I love this week! As you may remember, I posted by first ever “meat pie” cooking attempt, and I loved it! Doing more and now I have an excuse! Terrific post and thanks for the recipe as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. OIKOS™-Editorial

    A steak is always fantastic. 😉 Really, pies are recorded so early? With a topping of potatoes? 😉 This potato topping remembers me on an old recipe from here. In the past, they’d made Apple strudel instead of apples with boiled potatoes. I had eaten this once. Enough was enough. Lol Ok, sorry! Lets say it was not my favorite taste. Thank you for sharing this wonderful information, with a great recipe, Carol! Enjoy your weekend! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  7. V.M.Sang

    Your steak and kidney pie sounds amazing, Carol. We had a mixed game pie earlier this week, but I didn’t know it was Pie Week! I’m afraid I cheated with the pastry, though. I used bought shortcrust. I did cook the game myself, though. There’s a good game shop near here.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. beetleypete

    Sorry, but I have to take issue with you. For me, a pie should ALWAYS have a bottom, and be completely surrounded by pastry. ‘Top-only’ pies just don’t count in my book. 🙂 🙂
    Can you imagine a Pork Pie with just a top? Of course not.
    Luckily, I will be eating pie tomorrow. Julie is making a minced beef and onion pie, one of her specialities. As I do 99% of the cooking, I will be enjoying a day off, and enjoy eating the pie too! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    Liked by 3 people

      1. beetleypete

        Puff lids are sacrilege! 🙂
        The pubs have a big bowl of filling, and pre-prepared frozen lids. They plonk one on top of the filling, and call it a pie. That should be an offence under the Trades Description Act. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Enjoy your pie, Pete …The jury’s out on a pie and whether it should have a top and a bottom or just a top…my hubby likes pies with a top only when he has a meat pie but it would be sacrilege to suggest otherwise with a pork pie …I do either or depending on who I am feeding…But each to their own…Have a great weekend 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you, Sally for the reblog…I love a nice shortcrust pastry as well I might make some mince pies tomorrow… I still have mincemeat and I am running out of room in the fridges as I have to store quite a lot in them so need to make space or stop pickling and cooking Hugs xx

      Liked by 3 people

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