Kidney Pie

From Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire 

I'm refraining from watching Game of Thrones this season because I'm trying (and miserably failing) to avoid book spoilers, but, someone recently let me know that Kidney Pie was just mentioned again.  A Song of Ice and Fire has so much food that it can fill it's own cookbook, but very few of those foods make it into the TV series. Kidney Pie is one of those foods. Some may remember when Brienne visits the inn that Hot Pie inhabits in Season 4, and she makes the (huge) mistake of complimenting Hot Pie on his kidney pie. Hot Pie proceeds to explain, at length, his methods on preparing the pie. It was also mentioned in a more recent episode when a certain two characters reminisce about life at Winterfell. As people in the UK will tell you, Kidney Pie is not a fictional food, but we're going to do this one "Old Nan style" with peas and onions. If you're uncomfortable with offal... toughen up, princess. Just kidding, go ahead and use Kidney beans instead.

1 tbs Olive Oil
1 1/2 lbs Beef Chuck, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1/4 lb Pork or Beef Kidney, chopped small
2 Yellow Onions, chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup Sweet Peas
2 tbs. Unsalted Butter
6 White Mushrooms, sliced
2 tbs All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Tomato Paste
1 Bay Leaf
1 cup Beef Stock
1 cup Ale or Beer
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Salt and Pepper
Enough Pie Crust for two 9-inch pies (but dont get pre-lined pie tins)
1 Egg, beaten

4 12oz Ramekins
Frying Pan


1) Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil. Season the diced beef with salt and pepper. Brown the beef in the pan, making sure to get all sides. Transfer the browned meat to a large saucepan.

 2) You may need to add a bit more oil to the frying pan.  Season the chopped kidney and quickly brown in the hot pan. Transfer these to the saucepan as well.

3) Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the pan and cook the onions and carrots for 3 minutes. Transfer the onions to the saucepan with the meat.

4) Fry the mushroom slices in the rest of the butter, just turning in the pan for a minute or two.

5) Put the saucepan to medium heat, stir in the flour, and allow it to cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, bay leaf and mushrooms. Pour in the stock and beer, the meat and veggies should be only barely covered with the stock. Bring the heat to low and simmer gently, covered, for 1.5 hours. Periodically skim off any fat that floats to the top.

6) After 1.5 hours, check the meat for tenderness. If it's not quite soft enough, cook for the additional 30 minutes. The sauce will have reduced but you don't want it completely evaporate so you may need to add a bit more stock if it's looking a bit dry in there. As Hot Pie says, it's all about the gravy.

7) Taste everything to see if more salt and pepper (or whatever else you're using) and stir the  Worcestershire Sauce into the mix. When the filling is to your liking, allow it to cool to lukewarm temperature.

8) Preheat the oven to 425°F.

9) Roll out your dough 1/4-inch thick and line your ramekins, setting aside some extra dough to top the pies. Spoon the meat mixture into the lined ramekins.

10) Once the ramekins are filled, use the dough you set aside to cover the pies with about 1/2-inch hangover. Crimp the dough over the edge of the ramekin. Brush the tops with the beaten egg and piece the top layer to vent.

11) Bake at 425°F until pies are golden brown, about 35 minutes.
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