While the English love their Steak and Kidney Pie, in Ireland it’s St Bridget’s Steak and Oyster Pie that’s a favorite dish – especially as diners near St Patrick’s Day.
St. Bridget is remembered in Ireland as a warm-hearted, charismatic woman - a liberated medieval woman in the truest sense of the word. She was influential, traveled widely and entertained with panache and grace. Equally she was known for her thoughtful kindness to animals in an age that was often cruel.
As a result, she is the Irish patron saint of cattle and dairy work. Her cows were said to have produced more and better milk than any other Emerald Isle herd. Legend says she loved to cook and, like many modern chefs, often fed a multitude of people in need.
Saint Bridget’s Steak and Oyster Pie
- 1 ½ lb Beef (round steak, best chuck or thick rib steak)
- ¼ cup Butter
- 8 oz Onions, chopped
- 1 ½ tbsp Flour
- 2 ½ cups Beef stock
- 2 ½ cups Mushrooms, sliced
- 12 Taylor Oysters, fresh
- Roux if necessary
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 9 oz Puff, flaky or rough puff pastry
- Egg wash
- Cut the beef into 1 ½ inch cubes and season with salt and pepper.
- Melt a little of the butter in a deep frying-pan.
- Sear the meat over a high heat.
- Remove to a plate.
- Add the onions to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes.
- Add the flour, stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Blend in stock.
- Add the meat.
- Bring to the boil.
- Transfer to a casserole and cover.
- Simmer on a low heat or cook in a 300 degree oven for 1 ½ - 2 hours.
- Sauté the mushrooms in the remaining butter in a very hot pan.
- Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Open the oysters and put in a bowl with their juice.
- When the meat is tender, thicken the gravy slightly with roux if necessary.
- Add the mushrooms, oysters and their juice to the stew.
- Taste for seasoning.
- Allow to cool.
- Put into a pie dish.
- Cover with pastry.
- Flute the edges and decorate the top.
- Brush with egg wash.
- Cook in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 375 degrees.
- Cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.