Steak and kidney pudding

Steak and kidney pudding

By
From
How to Cook Pastry
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

You will need a 1 litre pudding basin.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 small onion
handful flat-leaf parsley
400g beef chuck steak
150g ox kidney
2-3 tablespoons plain flour, plus extra to dust
butter, to grease
1 quantity Suet pastry
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Prepare the greaseproof paper, foil and string for steaming, following the instructions on page 140.
  2. Peel and very finely dice the onion; you need 2 tsp. Finely chop enough parsley leaves to give 2 tsp. Put both in a large bowl.
  3. Trim the beef of excess surface fat and sinew and cut into cubes about 2.5cm square. Prepare the ox kidney by removing the large lobes from the central fat and tubes. Unless the lobes are very large, leave them whole.
  4. Put the beef and kidney into a large sieve. Sprinkle over the 2 tbsp flour and shake until the meat is lightly coated. Add the meat to the onion and parsley. Mix together and season well with salt and pepper.
  5. Generously butter the pudding basin. Divide the pastry into 2 unequal pieces, two thirds and one third. On a floured surface, pat out the larger piece into a circle about 2cm thick and 15cm in diameter, using a rolling pin or your hands, then use to line the pudding basin.
  6. Fill with the meat mixture, without packing it too tightly, to leave room for water. Add water to come just below the top pieces of meat.
  7. Roll the remaining piece of pastry to a circle 5mm thick, big enough to just cover the filling. Place it on top, wet the edges and press them together so that the lid is sealed to the inside of the pastry lining the pudding basin, not around the outside.
  8. Cover with the greaseproof paper and foil and make a string handle. Stand the basin on a trivet in a saucepan of boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the basin and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Alternatively, use a steamer. Steam the pudding for 5–6 hours, topping up the boiling water as necessary so it does not boil dry. It is important to keep the water at a steady boil for the first 30–45 minutes, to ensure the suet in the pastry starts to melt and set with the flour and to achieve a good golden colour.
  9. After steaming, carefully lift the pudding basin from the pan, using the string handle, and remove the string, paper and foil. Run a knife around the rim of the basin to release the pudding, invert a plate over the pudding and turn it the right way up so the basin is upside down. Using oven gloves, carefully lift off the pudding basin. Serve at once, with seasonal vegetables.

Variations

  • To make steak and mushroom pudding, replace the kidneys with 6–8 small chestnut mushrooms, halved or quartered.

    To make steak, kidney and oyster pudding, add a small tin of smoked oysters to the filling – a lovely traditional addition.

A note on part-steaming...

  • You can steam the pudding for at least 3 hours one day, then remove it from the steamer, allow to cool and chill overnight. The pudding can be finished in the steamer the next day. When heating the following day, just ensure that the first 30 minutes – 1 hour is at a generous boil, to get the filling hot as quickly as possible.
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