Monday, July 21, 2008

Steak and Kidney Pie

Reader advisory: below are some rather raw images of my adventure. Beware if you squeamish!

Once upon a time, I decided to get a little adventurous in the kitchen. It all started when I found a list of vitamins and minerals and what foods contain them naturally. Turns out I needed to eat more brown rice, fish, leafy greens, and oh my, kidneys.

Then one day as I was flipping through an old American cookbook, I discovered a recipe for steak and kidney pie. "Perfect!" I thought, "now I can try kidneys, and if I don't like them, at least the beef will be good!" Or so I thought.

Now the process of making this pie ended up being much more time consuming than I anticipated! First, no grocer or butcher in this city carried beef kidney. So I had to make multiple phone calls and then drive 20 miles into another county (those of you in CA will laugh at me). Once in hand, I had to prepare it (a nasty little process), cook it (which was perhaps the worst thing I have ever smelled), make a pie crust, create a sauce, and finally bake it. Did I mention this all took about 4 hours?

In the end, I was skeptical but hopeful. After all, I knew the beef would taste good. Unfortunately, I failed to consider that the entire pie, broth, beef, and all, would be tainted with the flavor of the kidney. What did it taste like, you might ask? Strange. Not bad, just strange. The word foreign also comes to mind. It was one of those things that did not disgust me, but left me without any desire to eat more. And thus, to our great disappointment, or perhaps satisfaction (depending on how you look at it), the fruit of my hours of labor and bravery were soon laying pitifully at the bottom of a trash can.

For the visual learners out there, I decided to post step-by-step pictures of the whole process, including a video of my "first taste":

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

1) prepping the kidney (removing the white stuff):

2) Flouring (then searing) the beef and kidney pieces:

3) Cooking the meat for 2 hours:

4) The pie!

And finally, a video Peter surreptitiously took of me taking my first bite. I didn't know he was doing this!!

So there you have it! Now you all know--next time you feel like being adventurous, don't make a whole steak and kidney pie.

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