May 21 2007

Steak and Kidney Pudding

Why not warm up with a good old fashioned Steak and Kidney Pud…

To feed six first cut up 900gms of really good, lean stewing steak together with 300gms of ox kidney. Brown the meat quickly in batches in hot oil. Remove each batch from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Chop a large onion and a couple of shallots and a scrap of celery or celeriac if you have it. Fry gently then, having poured off the excess fat, deglaze the pan with a generous glass of red wine making sure you scrape up all the residue into the bubbling wine.  Mix about 300ml of stock or water with a generous teaspoon of cornflower and add to the pan.  Bring to the boil stirring continually, return the meat to the sauce and put a lid on the pan. Cook gently for one and a half to two hours depending on the quality of your beef in a moderate oven.

Meanwhile to make the Suet Crust mix 350gms of self raising flour with 175gms of prepared suet, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and half a teaspoon of salt.  Add enough water to make a stiff dryish dough. Take a 1.75 litre basin and line it with the suet pastry remembering to keep a piece for the lid. To line the bowl roll out a circle, flour it well and fold it in half. Push up the sides to make a flat bowl shape and continue to roll until it looks as if it will fill your bowl. Lift it carefully and open it up and put it into place. Press it gently against the edge of the bowl. Now roll out your lid and set aside.

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When the meat is tender fry 275 gms of mushrooms in a little oil. Stir them into the cooked steak and kidney. This is the moment to add the oysters if you really want to be authentically Old English! Really delicious!

Now carefully spoon the filling into the basin and cover with the pastry lid, sealing well by wetting the rim. To take a large piece of baking foil and fold making a large pleat to allow you pudding to swell during cooking. Cover the pud with this and a pudding cloth. Secure with string. Place it in a steamer if you have one or in a pan of water on a little trivet or on top of an upturned saucer. Cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Take the cooked pudding from the pan and wrap in a crisp white napkin, in the traditional way:; serve the pud from the bowl! Bon appetite!

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