Steak and Kidney Stew (Slow Cooker)

medium rare sliced steak in white ceramic plate
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

When I was growing up, I kid you not, I was mad for kidney! My brother and sister weren’t so keen, so Mum didn’t make it that often. But when she did make anything with kidney – steak and kidney pie, steak and kidney casserole etc, I was a very happy kid!

For many people, eating liver is a big step, so I really hesitated about posting this since eating kidney may be a total gross out for many! But since we’re talking about real food, and traditional food, then kidneys deserve a place at our table. Steak and Kidney Pie is a traditional British dish, and also popular in New Zealand where I originate from. In fact on my last trip back I had lunch at a local restaurant and there was a kidney dish on the menu.

If you forget about what you’re eating for a minute, the taste of kidney is milder and meatier than liver, vaguely sweet, and certainly not offensive in any way. In fact I’ll eat them sliced and fried in butter with a little salt….but that’s just me 🙂

I’ve only ever eaten lamb’s kidneys, so I can’t comment on the flavor of kidneys from other animals. Finally, it’s important to only source kidneys that have come from animals raised naturally on pasture.

Steak and Kidney Stew

1-2 tablespoons oil (butter, lard, tallow etc)
1.5 lb beef chuck roast, cut into chunks (important to use a well-marbled cut because the meat will be much more tender and flavorful)
1 medium onion
¾ cup water or beef stock
1 teaspoon (approx.) Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pair lamb’s kidneys, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
2 bay leaves
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
Mushrooms, sliced (optional)

1. Heat oil in a pan to medium-high. Add beef chunks, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and brown on all sides (in batches if necessary).
2. Meanwhile, cut up onion and scatter onion pieces on the bottom of your crock pot/slow cooker.
3. Add browned beef to the crock pot.
4. Add the water/stock, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste to the pan that was used to brown the beef. Heat until simmering, scraping and stirring with a spatula to loosen any browned pieces. Turn off the heat and let this sit while preparing remaining ingredients.
5. Cut the lamb’s kidneys into approx. ¼ inch-thick slices. Add to the crock pot.
6. Sprinkle the garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and bay leaves over the meat.
7. Toss in the vegetables.
8. Pour the liquid from the pan over the meat and vegetables.
9. Cook on low for 8 hours.

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