Steamed meat puddings are traditional British comfort food at its best. Save this for when the evenings are closing in and there’s a chill in the air. The first recipe for steak and kidney pudding appeared in a book by Mrs Beeton, though the dish is far older than the 19th century.
- Heat the beef dripping in a large pan and cook the onion and carrot until they are beginning to caramelize. Remove from the pan and place in a large casserole.
- Toss the steak and kidney in the seasoned flour to coat. Add more fat to the pan if necessary, and brown the meat in batches, so it isn’t overcrowded and doesn’t stew in its own juices.
- Place all the meat and vegetables in the casserole, cover with the beef broth, season and bring to a gentle simmer, skimming well. Half-cover the pan with a lid and continue cooking gently for 1 hour, until the meat is tender.
- Remove the meats and vegetables using a slotted spoon and allow to cool. Return the stock to the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce by half, then pass through a fine sieve and leave to cool.
- Flake the steak with your fingers and chop the vegetables and kidney. Add the meat, chopped vegetables and chopped herbs to the cooled, reduced stock and reserve.
- To make the suet pastry, tip the flour into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the suet and mix to combine. Add ice-cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix in using a palette or round-bladed knife until the dough comes together.
- Gather into a ball using your hands, then flatten into a disc, cover with clingfilm and chill until ready to use.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out two-thirds of the pastry and use it to line a 1.5–2 litre (2¾–3½ pint) pudding basin. Roll out the remaining one-third of the pastry to use as a lid.
- Fill the pastry-lined basin with the meat mixture and seal the lid on top by moistening the edges with water. Trim off any excess pastry and cover the top securely with a cloth or foil.
- Steam for 2 hours, then turn out carefully and serve with steamed kale and potatoes sprinkled with extra parsley.
Recipe by Richard H. Turner, from his latest cookbook, PRIME, published by Mitchell Beazley. Pre-order it here: http://amzn.to/2jsIIxa