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April 2010 Daring Bakers' Challenge: Steak and Kidney Pudding

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

For this challenge I drew inspiration from  Esther, Audax and from this video.  I went whole hog in and found suet from a butcher shop in Los Gatos, Ca.  I had to render the fat down and turn it into a lard type substance, I did not post any of those photos because I don't think people really want to see that part.  If I make this again I will just use vegetable shorting or butter.  I am glad I had a chance to cook with suet; however, it is just not healthy, or a practical ingredient for me to use again.  I also chose to do a savory pudding instead of a sweet pudding.

I made a gravy using Audax's instructions with the left over scraps of meat and kidney.  I tell you the winner was the gravy.. I could of eaten that with toast.  The pudding was good don't get me wrong, it's just not my cup of tea.  I would like to give cheers to everyone who did this challenge.  For me it was a learning experience, and I am really glad I participated in it, thank you Esther.

Pastry Ingredients:
  • 12 ounces self rising flour- wtb Andy's biscuit recipe for my left over flour!
  • 6 ounces shredded suit or substitute like Crisco, Lard, or Butter
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • ½ cup milk, 2% worked fine
  • ½ cup water

Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 lb of stewing beef, cubed
  • 2-3 lamb kidney's, chopped-make sure to toss out the white portion
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly grated black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp Oyster sauce

Oyster sauce and Chicken stock to shy to be photoed 
  • 1 1/2 quart bowl oven safe bowl, like Pyrex.
  • Large pot with a steamer and lid
  • rubber-band
  • kitchen twine
  • heavy duty foil

Gravy: (optional, sorry no photos)
  • left over steak and kidney scraps
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 cup of Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp flour
First make the pastry by blending the flour and suet together with a pastry blender.  Add the salt and pepper to the flour and suet mixture.  Slowly add the water and milk, 1 Tbsp at a time.  The dough should form a nice ball and none of it should be stuck to the bowl.  Take the dough and place it on a floured work surface.

Cut ¼ of the dough out and reserve it for the pudding lid.  Use a measuring tape and roll the dough out to fit your pudding bowl.

Coat the pudding bowl with some butter or fat before placing the dough inside.  Roll out the lid, use a measuring tape to get the size right.  Set the lid aside.

Place water in your steamer and bring water to a boil.

In a small bowl mix the ½ cup flour, ground mustard, salt and pepper together.  Take one of the piece of beef and try to wrap it around a small piece of kidney, and then coat it the flour mixture.

Me breaking down the lamb kidney, first time for me!
Place the piece in the pudding bowl.  Make one row of steak and kidney rolls and then cover them with a handful of sliced onions and chopped parsley.

Create another row of meat and cover it again with the onions and parsley.  Continue this process till you run out of meat or your pudding bowl is filled up.  I had under a pound of beef and that is why my pudding bowl is not filled all the way.  If you use a full pound you will get one more layer in.

Add the chicken stock and oyster sauce over the top of the last layer and then seal the pudding with the pastry lid.

Make sure you get a good seal on it, you don't want any of it leaking out. 

Then cover your pudding with heavy duty foil.  Secure the foil with a rubber-band and some kitchen twin.  Cut away any excess foil as it might get in the way later.

Remove the lid from the steamer and carefully place the pudding inside. 

The water should not touch the metal part of the steamer, fill it so it is just below that part.  Cover and turn heat to medium.  Steam for 3-5 hours.  I did mine for about 4.

If you want the make the gravy take a medium size sauce pot and turn it to medium heat.  Add one of the chopped shallots, beef and kidney scraps, wine, oyster sauce, and chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer, let it simmer for about a hour, or until it has reduced by half.  Strain the gravy and remove all the shallot, beef and kidney pieces.  In the same sauce pan saute the other chopped shallot and after it is soft add the 2 tablespoons of flour.  Mix together and cook for a minute and then return the strained gravy to the sauce pan.  Heat over medium heat till it thickens.

After the pudding has steamed for atleast 3 hours you can remove it.

Let it sit on your counter for about 15 minutes before attempting to flip it over.  If you made the gravy you can poke a small whole in the top of the pudding and fill it up with gravy.

Place a plate over the bowl and use pot holders to shimmieslide flip the pudding over.  The pudding should just plop out.

Cut the pudding like you would a pie and drizzle more gravy if you fancy.  Enjoy! 


LittleRed said...

Your pudding looks perfectly wonderful! I loved and was surprised at how (baked) the pastry become. My husband however did not enjoy the texture of the pastry. All craziness though, as it was deliciously flaky. Great job on this challenge:)

The Betz Family said...

That looks great! I love the golden, flaky crust. I couldn't bring myself to use a kidney in my savory pudding so I made a steak and mushroom instead. Nice job!

Charlotte said...

Your pudding looks great!:) I love the golden color of your crust:)

Audax said...

Wonderful effort it looks perfect and the recipe assemble is very interesting I like the layering. Great photos also and that crust looks superb. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Laura said...

I love kidneys but don't eat them any more. I don't think they will go well in my family.

Great job, and great photo tutorial!

Amy Lucille said...

This is the link,

It's right on University Avenue.

Anonymous said...

I've never cooked with kidneys before either! I am impressed. Your pudding looks like perfection. This is what a traditional pudding should look like! Awesome job!

anjelikuh said...

wow, your gravy looks so rich and thick, it spills out like lava! The picture of you and your first lamb kidney is adorable, looks like you enjoyed the challenge a lot!

Aparna said...

You've done a wonderful job with this challnge. Congrats!

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