Makes: 10 portions. Cooking time: Filling: 1½ hours. Pie: 3/4 hour. Oven temperature: 200°C to seal then reduce to 150°C.
— 1 kg stewing steak cut into cubes
— 400 grams ox kidney cut into small cubes
— 250 grams sliced or quartered button mushrooms
— 250 grams sliced or chopped onion
— 2 liters water
— 100 grams flour or arrowroot diluted in 3 dl cold water
— 5 grams chopped parsley
— few drops Worcester sauce
— 650 grams Puff Paste (pie covering)
— 2 eggs (eggwash) (pie covering)
(1) Place the meat and kidney into a deep sided pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and skim.
(2) Add the mushrooms, onions and seasoning. Reboil and skim.
(3) Lightly thicken with either flour or arrowroot diluted in cold water.
(4) Continue to simmer and skim throughout until cooked; add chopped parsley.
(5) Finish with a few drops of Worcester sauce and season to taste. The thickness of the liquid should enable it to just coat the meats.
(6) Turn into a tray, preferably not too deep, so that any fat that comes to the surface and solidifies can be removed before the filling is divided up into suitable dishes.
(7) Cover with puff paste and bake.
(1) The filling should always be cold when covered with the paste.
(2) It is not necessary to color the liquid with gravy browning as it should resemble as much as possible that of a pie cooked with a raw meat filling rather than a brown stew.
(3) It should not be too thick in consistency when compared with a brown stew.
(4) The pie dishes should be placed on a baking sheet for easier handling as some seepage of the liquid is unavoidable.
All cooking stains should be removed from the pie dish which should be presented with a pie frill around the dish and standing on a dish paper on an oval underdish.
Assessment of the completed pie
(1) The pastry should be an even golden color and the decoration should be clearly visible. Before serving, however, the pie crust may be divided into portions.
(2) When the pastry is lifted it should be light, flaky and moist underneath but not soggy. When eaten it should not leave a greasy taste in the mouth but have a flavor influenced by the meat filling.
(3) The filling should be hot and all the ingredients tender and moist. The kidney and mushrooms should be firm yet soft when eaten.
(4) The liquid should be clear with the full flavor of all the ingredients. No single flavor should predominate.
(5) The liquid should not be fatty, but a little fat on the meat is acceptable.
(6) The seasoning should be quite prominent and enhanced by the addition of a few drops of Worcester sauce.