There are many recipes for steak and kidney puddings. This one is a little more involved, but I think gets the best results (see pp. 126–7). It’s best to have some fresh and some dried suet, but if not you can use just the dried.

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Ingredients

  • 900 g (2 lb) braising steak, trimmed and cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) dice
  • 450 g (1 lb) ox or lambs’ kidneys, trimmed and cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) dice
  • 50–75 g (2–3 oz) beef dripping
  • 6 celery sticks, diced
  • 6 carrots, diced
  • 8 onions, diced
  • 225 g (8 oz) mushrooms, quartered (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) Guinness
  • 1.75 litres (3 pints) Veal jus or bought alternative
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper

For the Suet Paste

  • 450 g (1 lb) plain flour
  • 25 g (1 oz) baking powder
  • 100 g (4 oz) fresh suet, chopped
  • 100 g (4 oz) dried suet
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) water

Method

Grease two 1.2 litre (2 pint) pudding basins or six 400 ml (14 fl oz) moulds.

For the steak and kidney filling, fry the beef and kidney in the dripping, allowing it to colour well on all sides.

In a separate large pan, sweat the diced vegetables and mushrooms, if using, garlic and herbs in the butter for a few minutes until soft. Add the Guinness and boil to reduce until almost dry. Add the meat and cover with the jus. Bring to the simmer, cover, and simmer for 1–1½ hours until the meat is tender. Check the seasoning and allow to cool.

While the meat is cooking, make the suet paste. Sieve the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Mix in the suets then fold in the water to form a fairly firm paste. Allow the paste to rest for about 20 minutes. Roll out the paste and use the majority to line the pudding moulds; you will need some left for the lids. Keep in the fridge until needed.

When the filling is cold, fill the moulds with the meat mixture, using a slotted spoon. You need only a little liquid in the filling. Roll out the remaining suet paste and cover the moulds, trim and press together. Top with pieces of buttered foil.

Stand the puddings in a steamer or a pan half-filled with hot water, cover and steam for about 1 hour for the smaller puddings and 1½–2 hours for the larger ones, topping up with boiling water as necessary.

The liquid left from the stew can be re-boiled, pushed through a sieve and used as the gravy.

To serve, trim round the tops. Turn the individual puddings out on to hot plates and cover with the gravy. From the larger basins, cut and spoon on to hot plates and cover with gravy.

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