Discover the Allure of British Steak and Kidney Pudding

Are you ready to embark on a culinary adventure? Look no further than British Steak and Kidney Pudding, a traditional dish that combines richness and heartiness in every bite. Picture this: tender chunks of beef steak and kidney simmered in a flavorful Guinness gravy, all encased in a flaky suet-based pastry. It’s a feast for the senses, and the best part is that it’s steamed, not baked.

Pouring gravy over a steak and kidney pudding

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, this classic savory pudding pairs perfectly with peas, but feel free to get creative with your veggie choices. While steak and kidney is the star of this delightful dish, it’s worth mentioning that the same filling can also be used in another British favorite, the Steak and Kidney pie.

The Savory vs. Sweet Pudding Dilemma

To add a touch of confusion to the mix (because why not?), in the U.K., the term “pudding” can also refer to a dessert. But fear not, we’re talking about the savory variety here. Kidneys are a popular ingredient in British cuisine, but their intense and rich flavor may not be for everyone. If you’re not a fan, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a delicious alternative – my British Steak and Ale Pie, which boasts a similar filling minus the kidneys.

A closeup of the steak and kidney filling inside the pastry

Dating back to the 1800s, Steak and Kidney Pudding is an ancient dish that has stood the test of time. It has become one of the most beloved comfort foods in British cuisine and a staple of pub grub. While you can find it in supermarkets, nothing beats the homemade version.

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Now, let’s talk about suet pastry. This old-fashioned British pastry is perfect for steaming. In simple terms, suet is the beef fat that surrounds the beef kidneys. If you can’t get your hands on suet, you can use lard, beef tallow, or vegetable shortening as substitutes. While the texture of suet differs from lard or shortening, the preparation remains the same. All the details can be found in the recipe.

When it comes to the vessel for this culinary masterpiece, a traditional pudding bowl is a must. I personally recommend a 1.2-liter (2.5 pint) (6 x 4-inch/15 x 10 cm) ceramic pudding bowl/basin, which is both affordable and ideal for the task at hand.

After lining the bowl with the pastry and adding the filling, top it with a circle of pastry. Then, fold over the excess pastry and create a perfect seal. Need a visual? Take a look at the picture above.

To perfect the steaming process, tightly cover the bowl with foil and tie a string around the rim. I even like to create a simple handle using string for easy lifting in and out of the steaming pan.

String is tied around a bowl to create a handle

If you prefer using a slow cooker, fear not! You can also steam your steak and kidney pudding in it. Just make sure your slow cooker is tall enough to accommodate the bowl and leave room for the lid. Cook it on high for 6-8 hours, and voila!

Now, imagine keeping the bowl off the bottom of the pan while steaming. You can achieve this by using a small ceramic ramekin or creating a ring out of foil. Simple yet effective, just like the mouthwatering results!

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A foil-covered bowl in a pan of water ready to steam

Some adventurous souls have even requested the addition of garlic to the filling. While it may not be traditional, I’ve included an optional garlic cloves add-on in the recipe for those craving an extra flavor kick.

So, if you’re ready to take your taste buds on a journey through British cuisine, why not try your hand at making a delectable Steak and Kidney Pudding? It’s a dish that combines history, flavor, and a touch of culinary brilliance. Give it a go and treat yourself to a taste of tradition!

For more culinary inspiration and delicious recipes, visit Hook’d Up Bar and Grill.