Steak & Kidney Cowpie


My good pal Pierre just launched his brand-new very first cookbook, named Kitchen Scraps for his blog, and I don’t think I ever did properly congratulate him. I mean, I went to his book launch and ate a lot, something I’m willing to do for only the closest of friends, and even swallowed my very first escargot (sorry Pierre, a slug’s a slug), but I never did publicly pat him on the back. His new book is brilliant – funny, entertaining, well written. Perfect bedtime reading. I love the illustration of the guy with the hairy chest about to be jolted back to life by one of those things they used to use on every episode of Emergency! (with Randolph Mantooth – I can’t honestly believe I remember his name – funny what your brain holds onto and what it jettisons) because he ate a heart attack sandwich. Sorry I can’t tell you what’s on it, you’ll have to get the book. Or check out his blog.

So this is Pierre’s recipe, from his new book. I made it for an article I was working on on the subject of offal. I adapted it a little, baking the pastry right on the pie instead of cutting rounds to bake separately. To be honest, I picked at it a little before leaving to teach a hands-on hors d’oeuvres class at the Cookbook Company tonight, and then left Mike to have his way with it. I came home to about half in the fridge. I imagine W picked out a few chunks of meat and asked for eggs on toast.





Steak & Kidney Cowpie

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16 comments on “Steak & Kidney Cowpie

  1. Laurie
    December 1, 2009 at 12:10 am

    My grandmother made the world’s best steak and kidney pie. It tasted dark and lushious. You would never have known it had kidney in it if no one had told you. She never soaked the kidneys in vinegar, she used to simmer them in water with herbs and spices, first, telling me, “Kidneys are okay once you’ve boiled the piss out of them.”

    That made my mother furious, but it made me laugh

  2. Kathy
    December 1, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Thank God for the mushroom substitution! Otherwise that one cup of Guiness and more would have to be left out of the recipe and imbibed instead to help me stomach the pie–sorry Julie just can’t “go there” with organ meats.

    lol @ “boiled the piss out of them”

  3. Kate
    December 1, 2009 at 7:09 am

    With Kathy on all counts on this one ;(

  4. Debbie
    December 1, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Ditto Kathy. Bring on the mushrooms.

    This is looking so appetizing with this weather!

    I picked up Pierre’s cookbook on Saturday and have already read it cover to cover. I can’t wait to start trying some recipes!

  5. Heather
    December 1, 2009 at 11:26 am

    I also can’t do kidneys – there’s a reason why “offal” and “awful” sound the same. But sub the mushrooms, swap out the Guinness for some red wine, and add a few pearl onions, and you’d have a lovely beef bourguignon pastry!

  6. Melanie
    December 1, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    I was in Montreal last week and ate at an amazing restaurant called “DNA”… Talk about interesting pieces of animals laid out on a plate. The tasting menu featured sweetbreads, beef liver, bison heart, “and the best parts of the duck” (I ate duck testicles… they were laying there right on top of a lovely ravioli)… The whole thing tasted unreal – it was so good but I didn’t need to know exactly what passed between my lips…

  7. Evelyn in Canada
    December 1, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    This is the first post I’ve ever been tempted to write “LOL” as a response. I generally think of teenagers texting each other and can only handle a few character strokes with their thumbs, so I still couldn’t bring myself to type it.

    Very funny description of the 6-year old’s mattress, and then the “boil the piss out of it” got me really giggling. With a bed-wetting 5 year old in the house, I think I’d have to opt for mushrooms.

  8. Cheryl Arkison
    December 1, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    I finally met Pierre at the market on Sunday. Yay for him he was doing very well selling the book. Boo for me because I didn’t get one. If only for the honesty I would get it.

  9. Allison
    December 1, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    As a kid back in good ol’ Blighty, I always loved my Mam’s mince, kidneys and black pudding….with roast potatoes and crispy suet dumplings (maybe she’ll make it when she comes back over to visit next summer?!). Yum!!

  10. Carol SB
    December 1, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Oh, but Heather, you have to leave the Guiness in. Sooo good: makes your dishes lovely, dark and deep. (Robert Frost got his inspiraton there. Well -known fact.)
    AND this year is the 250th birthday of Guiness, or at least the 250th anniversary of Arthur’s rental contract on the brewery… so.
    Melanie- I’m with you. I guess I’m OK with some offal– when somebody else “boils the piss out of it”, I love your grandmother, Laurie– but probably just as happy to not know EVERYTHING.
    Julie, when I read “Cowpie” I was kind of hoping for pie shaped like a cow… but then I realized they usually aren’t.

  11. Laurie
    December 1, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    LOL – thanks, Carol SB – I loved my grandmother dearly. She was brought up to be a real lady, so when she was outrageous it was a double surprise. I don’t have her recipe for steak and kidney pie, so I haven’t been able to make it. I’ll make this recipe – with the kidneys when I’m alone (I haven’t met a Canadian yet who can eat offal, and that includes my kids who were born here) and the mushroom version for when I have to share. The six-year-old cousin’s mattress had me laughing enough to offend my cats (so I guess that should be LOLAOTC)

  12. lovetocook
    December 1, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Miss Piggy said it all: ‘I’ll have escargots; hold the snails!’

    Here’s my version with mushrooms:

    1 1/4 cups bread cubes, 1/2 inch, toasted and crisp
    3 T butter
    1 T minced garlic
    3/4 lb small white mushroom caps
    2 T chopped parsley
    salt and pepper

    Melt butter with garlic, s and p in a baking dish. Add mushrooms and bake at 375F, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes until soft and juicy. Toss in parsley and croutons and serve with toothpicks.

    (And I’ll have Steak and Guinness Pie a la Jamie)

  13. Erica B.
    December 1, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    If I didn’t know what I was eating – maybe . If I could smell urine – H3LLL NO. Steak & mushroom pie for me please.

    Congrats to Pierre on the book =)

  14. charm
    December 1, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Hi Julie – Can you tell me the name of the nutritional analysis software that you use. I’m pretty sure that I read which program it was in your blog one time, but I can’t find it the name now. Thanks!

  15. JulieVR
    December 1, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    FoodSmart Professional. Although I’m thinking of making the switch to MacGourmet..

  16. Laurie
    December 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Erica B, If you prep the kidneys first (taking off all of the fat, as Julie said to) then simmer them in a falvourful stock (since you’re going to throw it away, cheap store bought beef stock is fine) with loads of herbs (strong ones, like rosemary and bay, or whatever you like) then any urine smell is gone. It isn’t always there to start with, but this method makes sure there’s none. All you taste in the pie is numminess – and all you smell is beef and pastry, plus you get the added nutrition from the organ meat.

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