Monday, 31 October 2011
Beef and vegetable suet pudding - recipe
This is a savoury suet pudding I made a few weeks ago for Sunday lunch, a change from a roast and it was delicious with mashed potatoes and veggies. You need a bit of time to make this but if you cook the meat the day before it would just be a matter of making the suet pastry (the easiest thing ever) and assembling and then steaming the pudding on the day. This recipe uses skirt a cut of beef that isn't always readily found in supermarkets, which is just as well as I don't buy any meat from supermarkets anymore, I either buy from one of two farm shops locally or a more traditional butchers in town. Beef skirt makes a really delicious gravy when it is braised in the oven, its quite a lean cut of meat and I never feel the need to brown the meat beforehand to improve the flavour.
500g fresh skirt beef - cubed
1 large carrot sliced
1 onion chopped
1 beef stock cube (or use fresh beef stock)
200 g mushrooms
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Large heaped teaspoon Cornflour
200g suet (beef or vegetable)
400g self raising flour
large pinch sea salt
cold water to mix
Before you start make sure the pudding basin will fit inside a pan you can use with a well fitting lid.
1. Cook the meat; put the cubed beef skirt, sliced carrot, chopped onion, seasoning and beef stock (sufficient to cover the meat) into a casserole, cover with a lid and bake in an 180c fan oven for about an hour and a half.
2. When the meat is cooked, add the mushrooms and then thicken the gravy with a heaped teaspoon of cornflour mixed with water. Test for seasoning at this point. Let the meat filling cool and make the pastry.
3. Grease a large pudding bowl. Put the flour, suet and salt in a large bowl and mix with a fork. Add cold water to make into a pastry bring together initially with the fork and then your hands. Cut off a third of the pastry and leave to one side. With the remaining pastry roll out into a ball and continue rolling this keeping the round shape as you go, and use this to line the pudding bowl. Once the bowl is lined with suet pastry put the cooled meat filling inside.
4. Use a pastry brush to brush the pie rim with water. With the remaining third of the pastry roll out a round top for the top of the pie in the pudding basin. Secure this by pressing the edges together.
5. Cover the top of the pudding with a pleated piece of greaseproof paper. Secure this with string round the neck of the pudding basin. Repeat this same process with a layer of pleated foil and again use string to secure the foil round the neck of the basin, tie the string over the top of the bowl to make a handle. This will help to life the pudding out later on.
6. Take a large pan (with a lid) and place an upturned plate or saucer in the bottom of the pan. Place the pudding basin on the plate or saucer. Boil a kettle then fill the pan to a level roughly halfway up the pudding basin with hot water from a boiled kettle.
7. Cook on a simmering heat with a tight fitting lid, for about two and a half hours. Set your timer every thirty minutes to check the water level in the steaming pan as you may need to add more boiling water.
8. Once the pudding is cooked, remove carefully from the pan and allow to rest, remove string and foil and paper after 5 minutes or so. Turning out can be tricky and you may need another pair of hands to help with the hot basin. Invert the basin and contents onto a large plate.
A pudding this size this will serve 4 very hungry adults.
I bought this beef skirt from a local farm shop at Spout House Farm, its a family run farm, where the cattle are reared and the meat from the same animals is sold at weekends in the little shop they have on the farm, along with other goodies.
NB: These views are mine. I was not paid or asked by Spout House Farm to do this review I offered to do it, the ingredients were all purchased by me.