In Victorian times, when fresh oysters were inexpensive, they were a traditional ingredient in steak and kidney pudding, placed on top of the filling, just under the suet crust. In this recipe I have used mushrooms, but this does not mean that you cannot also add the oysters.
These ingredients fill a
Trim the meat, and dice it into
Make the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a bowl, then add the suet and lightly rub into the flour until you have the texture of breadcrumbs. Gradually add a little iced water. This amount of fat and flour will take about
Grease the pudding basin, and fold the dough in four. Cut away a quarter and save this for the lid. With the broad edge outwards, fit the pastry into the basin. Press it to the sides. It will overhang the edges of the basin. Leave enough to build a pastry rim around the lip of the basin, to which you can anchor the pastry lid.
Pile the steak, kidney, onion and mushrooms into the lined pudding basin. Add the liquid, and season lightly.
Gather together all the remaining pastry trimmings, and roll out a round of pastry to generously fit the top of the basin. Pinch together where the lid joins the pastry walls, to seal it well. Cover with a round of greased greaseproof paper, pleated down the middle to allow the pudding to rise, and tie a pudding cloth over it. Place on a steamer rack in a saucepan, and pour in enough boiling water to come a quarter of the way up the basin. Cover with a lid, and steam for 2 to 2½ hours, adding more boiling water if there is a danger of the pan drying out.
Turn the pudding out onto a heated serving plate. Serve by cutting into wedges and transferring to hot dinner plates.
Carrots, celeriac and other traditional root vegetables are excellent accompaniments to the homely steak and kidney pudding.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.