The ultimate autumn comfort food!
Want to make a supper that is super-easy, tastes stunning and is a total showstopper? This delicious steak and kidney pudding ticks all the boxes. When you’ve made this once, your family (particularly the men!) will beg you to do it again and again. A light suet crust, meltingly tender meat in the best gravy ever and served with buttered sprouts or savoy cabbage, it’s the most splendid supper treat ever. I appreciate that some people, especially children, might not like the idea of eating kidney, however, if you chop it into tiny pieces, you’ll get all the goodness and flavour in the gravy without them even noticing. I’ve tried a number of recipes for this dish and I believe this one to the most perfect. The soy sauce addition is a Rick Stein twist that gives a lovely depth of flavour and colour to the finished gravy in the pudding.
You will need…
- A lightly buttered 1.75 litre pudding basin and a large steaming pan.
- 500g chuck steak chopped into medium sized chunks
- 180g kidney, white core removed and chopped into the size you prefer
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- A generous handful of parsley, chopped
- The leaves from a couple of sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
- Beef stock – about half a pint made with a good quality stock cube
- 350g self-raising flour
- 175g Atora shredded vegetable suet
- A generous pinch of salt
- 250ml ice cold water
First, prepare the meat filling. In a large bowl, add the chopped steak and kidney the plain flour, chopped onion, parsley, bay leaf and thyme, pepper and salt. Mix it together thoroughly, ensuring that the meat gets an even coating of flour.
Next, make the suet pastry base. Mix the flour, salt, suet and water together to create a soft dough. Turn it out onto a floured board and knead it gently for a few minutes until it becomes smooth. Roll it into a circle large enough to fill your pudding basin. Cut out a quarter to make the lid. Use the remainder to drape over the pudding basin and line the base and sides. Overlap the edges and pinch the dough together with your fingers so there are no gaps.
Spoon the meat mixture into the pudding basin. Add the soy sauce and then enough beef stock to come up 3/4 of the way – be careful not to overfill it. Roll the reserved quarter piece of pastry into a circle big enough the cover the lid plus about an extra 1cm all around. Brush the top edge of the pastry with a little water and crimp the edges together so it is perfectly sealed.
Next, make a lid for the pudding. Make a circle of baking parchment or greaseproof paper about 4cm larger than the basin top. Make a pleat in the centre to allow for the top to rise during the steaming. Place it over the pudding and then another circle of aluminium foil over that. Tie it tightly with kitchen string and make a handle so you can lift the basin out of the steamer easily.
Place a trivet (a basket steamer is best) in the base of a large pan and lower the pudding onto it. Pour about 5 cm of boiling water into the base of the pan, cover with a well-fitting lid and leave it to steam for 4 and half hours. You will need to check the pan every so often to top up the water from a kettle so it doesn’t boil dry.
To serve, lift the pudding out of the steamer and remove the lid. Place a warm plate over the top of the pudding and invert it. The pudding should turn out easily. You can serve it from the basin if you prefer but it looks more stunning if you bring it to the table and cut into it on the plate – it’s a great moment when all the meat and gravy tumbles out. This is so filling, I don’t usually serve it with potatoes – just a bowl of nutty, buttered Brussel sprouts.