A pudding is usually a dessert, though at times it can be a savoury dish. This category is for dishes that are commonly called “puddings” which have a savoury taste.
flour for dusting
150g (3/4) dripping or lard. Substitute for lard is unsalted butter.
100ml (7 tablespoons) brandy
250ml (1 cup) dry red wine
175g (1 ¾ cups) leeks sliced
175g carrots (about a generous 1 cup), sliced
300g (3 cups) onions, sliced
½ star anise
200g (2 ¾ cups) mushrooms, sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil
a little caster (superfine) sugar
250g (9oz) tomatoes, halved
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs of thyme
8 black peppercorns
1 litre (1 quart) beef stock
1 litre (1 quart) chicken stock
salt and freshly ground pepper and if you fancy adding some cayenne pepper feel free to do so
For the kidneys
2 beef kidneys
2 sprigs of thyme
2 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
For the suet pastry
1 kg (heaped 7 cups) self-raising flour
15g (1 tablespoon) salt
500g (18 oz) suet
600 ml (2 ½ cups) water
1 egg, lightly beaten to glaze
i. Season the oxtail with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Heat half the dripping of lard in a large frying pan and then add the oxtail and cook until well browned all over.
The best way to do this is to fry it in batches. When done, remove from the pan and pour in the brandy and red wine and bring to the boil, stirring now and again to deglaze the pan. Remove from the heat and set aside.
ii. Heat the remaining drippings or lard in a large pan and add the leeks, celery and carrots and fry until colored. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onions and star anise to the pan and fry until tender and almost caramelised and then remove and set aside. Finally, add the mushrooms and fry until well cooked. Set aside with the other vegetables.
iii. Heat the oil and a sprinkling of sugar in a large pan over a fairly high heat and then add the tomatoes, cut side down. Cook until caramelised. Deglaze with a splash of water and remove from the heat.
iv. Put the oxtail, vegetables and tomatoes in a large casserole, add the bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns and beef and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover the pan and transfer to an oven that is preheated to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Bake for four hours, until the oxtail is tender to the point of easily coming off the bones. Leave to cool, then strain the mixture, reserving the sauce. Pick the meat off the bone in as large pieces as possible and set aside.
v. Trim the ox kidney and remove any sinew. Place in a pan with enough cold water to cover and bring to the boil. Drain and refresh in cold water and then return to the pan with the thyme sprigs, peppercorns and the bay leaf. Cover with cold water again and bring to the boil. Simmer for about two hours until tender. When done, remove and set aside and leave to cool and then dice the kidney.
vi. To suet pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl and stir in the suet. Add the water, a little at a time until the dough comes together. Do not overwork the dough. Cover and leave it for at least 20 minutes.
vii. To assemble the pudding, take six 300ml (1 ¼ cup) pudding basins (oven proof bowls) or use one 1.7 litre basin, and butter them 3 times, freezing them briefly each time. Divide the pastry into 6 balls and roll out each one into a circle 5mm (¼ inch) thick. Cut away a quarter wedge from each circle to use for the lid and then use the rest of the pastry to line the pudding basins. Roll out the pastry for the lids to be the same thickness. Put the cooked oxtail and kidney in the basins and then fill them up with the reserved sauce, so that it comes just below the rim.
viii. Brush the lip of the pastry with the beaten egg and then place the lid on top and seal. Double wrap each basin in cling film and steam for two hours. Let them rest overnight and then reheat in a steamer before serving.