Steak and Kidney Pudding
Traditionally, a Steak Pudding is filled with raw meat and boiled to death. Problem is, the pastry really doesn't need two hours cooking! I cook the meat seperately, (chuck, cheek or beef skirt) ideally the day before, and make the pastry the day before too. Cold filling is so much easier to work with.Enough for 1 super-size or four generous single size portions
1½ lb diced chuck steak, cheek, or beef skirt
8 oz diced ox kidney
2 large onions
1 large carrot
2 sticks of celery
1 tblspn flour
1 sprig of thyme
½ pint of beef stock
½ pint of red wine
sprig of thyme
a good knob of beef dripping or lard
For the suet pastry:
1 lb self raising flour
8 oz beef suet
1 tspn salt
1 tspn ground pepper
1 tblspn chopped parsley
Method: Looks long-winded but most of it is done a day in advance!
1. Place all of the suet dry ingredients in a bowl and add enough cold water to make a soft dough. Refridgerate. This will make it easier to work with. Chill... preferably overnight or until firm.
2. Season the beef with salt and pepper, toss in flour and shake off the excess but reserve.
3. Heat the dripping in a casserole pan and add the beef. Cook until browned on all sides. You may need to cook the beef in a few batches to make sure it browns rather than stews. Transfer the browned beef to a bowl.
4. Using the same pan, cook the onions, carrots and celery until beginning to soften, scraping up any of the crusty bits left from the beef.
5. Return the browned beef to the pan along with all of the other ingredients including the excess flour left from coating the beef. Quickly bring to the boil, skim off any foam, reduce the heat and simmer for 1hour.
5. Add the kidney and cook for a further 35 minutes then remove from the heat and chill... ideally, chill it overnight.
6. Roll out the suet pastry to no more than ½cm thick then cut into a circle (or circles) large enough to line your lightly oiled mould (or moulds). You need to leave enough overhang to fold over the top of your filled pudding and pinch in the middle to seal it up.
7. Pack in your filling and brush the over-hang with cold water. Fold the excess pastry over the top and pinch in the middle to seal (deja vu!). Cover the tops tightly with tinfoil.
8. Place an upturned bowl in the base of a large saucepan. Add enough kettle-hot water to almost cover it then place a large tray or plate on top. Place the pudding(s) on the plate, cover with a tight fitting lid and steam for 30 minutes.
Phew that's it! Simply turn out and serve.
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