RECIPE: Budget steak and kidney pie
I am more of an intuitive cook (in line with the Extreme Housewifery ethos) and if you don’t do it already, I think you should give it a try. When I search for recipes online, I use them for inspiration – reading the ingredient list (but not the quantities particularly) and then possibly scanning the method, if something is particularly complicated. Otherwise, I wing it. I think it’s the best way to cook. That way you make do with what you have in the cupboard, waste less food and also have a shorter shopping list because you can just go with whatever’s cheap. I reckon if people got more comfortable in the kitchen then it would help save everyone pennies.
For my pie, I used the £1.10 pack of steak and kidney. It’s definitely on the way out, so I knew it needed to be cooked today, but that’s no problem. You could even cook some up and freeze it for later. The pastry was a quick mix I got from Approved Food for about 20p a packet so cheaper than flour. Approved Foods delivery charges are quite expensive so can obliterate the saving you make so make sure you have a lot of cupboard space so you can order the maximum weight of stuff. Search for ‘case price’ to find the cheapest bulk deals.
The mushrooms are from an Aldi family pack, so about 40p worth. Taking into account the odd bit of this and that I also added I think this whole pie easily costs only £2-£2.50. It serves 6-8, so not a bad price per portion. If you can get your veg from the reduced shelf too, obviously it’d be even cheaper.
Steak and Kidney Pie
- Pack of steak and kidney
- Large handful of mushooms
- 2 onions
- Couple of cloves of garlic
- Squirt of tomato puree
- Sprinkle of smoked paprika
- Half a beef stock cube
- 2 spoons of flour
- Splash of port
- Bag of pastry mix
Put your meat in a bag with a couple of spoons of seasoned flour and shake until coated.
Mix up your pastry and put in the fridge.
While the pastry chills, brown off your steak and kidney in a hot pan in batches. I found a splash of oil kept this going and made nice crispy bits in the pan. Put the meat to one side.
In the same pan, fry the onions until translucent. Add the mushrooms, a squirt of tomato puree and a dash of smoked paprika.
When the mushrooms are starting to cook down, add a splash of port, and bubble it for a minute or two. It will start to thicken straight away because of the flour, so then add your stock cube and enough boiling water to come just under the ingredients.
Bubble away lightly for 30 minutes to reduce and thicken. Stir occasionally, because the flour will thicken most at the bottom so you want to mix it in and not let it catch.
While this is bubbling away, you can roll out your pastry and a lid and then stick em back in the fridge to chill. This is a good time to get your oven preheated. I go for about 190-200’C – that’s the temperature that everything in the world cooks at.
Fill your pastry case with the filling and crimp around the edges.
Poke a hole for the steam in the middle and get it in the oven quick, before your pastry melts completely.
Serve to much applause and gratefullness from your significant other.