Steak and IPA Pudding
By Sam Wass, Medium Well
this is definitely a recipe for a weekend or holiday when you’ve got time on your side, but trust us it’s worth it as the results will likely be remembered for a lifetime.
Steak pudding is one of the great foods from yesteryear and is a real British culinary tradition that we think should be more in favour than it currently is. Yes it is pretty calorific, but nothing evokes comfort eating more than a traditional steamed steak pudding. Lot’s of us will have cherished memories of meals such as this round our grandparents tables, and by embracing such foods as your own you can carry on a great food tradition with your own family. Making a suet crust is far easier than you think, and basically if you can make dumplings, you can make suet pastry.
The steak filling will take a good few hours to reach perfection, and the pudding itself needs steaming for a further two hours, so this is definitely a recipe for a weekend or holiday when you’ve got time on your side, but trust us it’s worth it as the results will likely be remembered for a lifetime. We have used IPA instead of a traditional ale, as it’s rounded flavour cuts through the richness, but any ale or beer you have will do the job just fine.
- Preparation Time: 30 minutes
- Cooking Time: ℃ ℉ °
- Total Time: 5 hours 30 mins
- Servings: 6
- 750g diced beef steak
- 1 onion, sliced
- 3 tbsp olive (or rapeseed/sunflower) oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp. tomato puree
- 330ml can/bottle of IPA
- 200 ml beef stock
- flaked sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
For the pastry
- 300g self-raising flour
- 175 g suet
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 200ml (very) cold water
Start by making the filling. Put the beef in a large bowl and mix in the flour so all (or most) of the diced beef has a nice thin coating of flour. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large heavy based pan and brown the meat all over. You might need to do this in batches otherwise you’ll overcrowd the pan, so add the other spoonful of oil for the second batch, and use more if needed. When the meat is browned, put it to one side, and cook the onions over a low heat until softened for about 5 minutes, giving them a stir as you go along. Stir the browned meat back in the pan with the onions, and give everything a good stir around.
Pour in about a third of the beer to deglaze the bottom of the pan, stirring it hard with a wooden spoon to lift any sediment off the base of the pan. Pour in the rest of the IPA along with the beef stock, tomato puree, bay leaf and a good pinch each of salt and pepper. Bringing it to the boil, then simmer gently over a low heat for 2 hours, giving it a stir every 30 minutes or so. The sauce (or more to the point the gravy) needs to thicken at this point so don't rush it.
Set aside to cool completely.
When you are ready to make the pudding, start by greasing a pudding basin (approx 1 litre size). Then in a large bowl, mix the flour, suet and baking powder, with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour in most of the water and mix it (ideally using one hand if possible) into a soft almost sticky dough, adding more water if needed. Divide the dough into two pieces - roughly three-quarters and one-quarter.
Dust your surface with flour and roll out the larger piece of dough into a circle about 30cm in diameter. Use that piece to line the pudding basin, leaving the excess pastry hanging over the edge of the bowl.
Roll out the smaller piece into a circle, big enough to form the lid for the basin. Spoon or ladle the cooled steak filling into the pastry-lined basin, and then dampen the edges with some water before placing the lid on top. Press the edges together with your fingers and trim away the excess pastry. If you are feeling confident, and want a traditional finish, you can crimp the edges to ensure a good seal.
Next place a large piece of parchment paper on a sheet of foil (or use parchment lined foil) and make a large pleat in the middle, folding both sheets together. Lay the parchment and foil over the top of the pudding basin (foil side up) and secure it with string, looping the string over the pudding and tying it to form a handle that you can use to lift the pudding in and out of the saucepan.
Stand the pudding in a large pan, and pour in boiling water so that it comes to halfway up the side of the pudding basin. Put a lid on the pan and bring the water to a simmer. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and steam the pudding for 2 hours (maybe 30 minutes longer). Top up the boiling water if needed during the steaming so the pan doesn’t dry.
Lift the basin out of the pan, then take off the foil and parchment and leave it to rest for 5 minutes. To get the pudding out of the basin, run the tip of a small sharp knife around the side of the pudding to release it from the basin. Put a large plate over the pudding as an inverted lid, and turn the plate and pudding over, so the pudding comes out on the plate.
Serve it straight away with whatever your comfort veg of choice is, but we think creamy mashed potato, carrots and broccoli are great.