Steak and kidney pudding

Steak and kidney pudding

Dean Cambray

Traditional recipes for steak and kidney pudding simply pile the raw ingredients into the suet-lined basin before steaming. I prefer to cook the mixture first so that I can taste and adjust the seasoning to my liking.


Quantity Ingredient
400g rump steak, cut into small dice
400g ox or veal kidneys, skinned, cored and cut into small dice
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
200g smoky bacon, roughly diced
50g butter
2 onions, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 stick celery, finely diced
100g button mushrooms
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
2 good-quality beef stock
3 tablespoons cornflour, mixed to a paste with a little water
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1kg Suet pastry


  1. Season the beef and kidneys generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan until sizzling. Sauté the beef, kidney and bacon in batches, until lightly coloured, then tip into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the butter to the pan then lower the heat and sweat the onion, garlic and celery for a few minutes until soft, but not coloured. Add the mushrooms to the pan, together with the bay leaf, thyme and stock. Return the browned meats to the pan and stir in the cornflour paste. Simmer gently for 5 minutes then remove from the heat and leave to cool before skimming away any surface fat. Stir in the parsley.
  3. Grease a 1½ litre pudding basin. Set aside a quarter of the pastry for the lid of the pudding. Roll out the rest to form a large circle, no more than 1 cm thick, and use it to line the pudding basin. Spoon the filling into the pudding, packing it in fairly firmly. Roll out the pastry lid. Wet the edges and set it on top of the pudding. Press to seal well. Cover with a double sheet of aluminium foil, pleated to allow room for expansion while cooking. Tie securely under the lip of the pudding basin (if it has one), and if you want to be clever, make a little handle with a loose loop over the top of the pudding.
  4. Place the pudding in a steamer, or if you don’t have a steamer, sit it on a rack or small upturned plate in a saucepan. Pour in boiling water to come two-thirds up the side. Cover the steamer or saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and steam over a low–medium heat for 3½ hours. You will probably need to top up the water level from time to time.
  5. Carefully lift the pudding out of the water and leave for 5–10 minutes to rest before serving at the table. If you want to be traditional you can wrap the pud in a snowy-white napkin.
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