Suet is the raw, hard fat taken from the kidneys of cattle and, less commonly, mutton. It can be bought fresh from most butchers ready to be rendered and frozen at home, although packaged suet, generally sold pre-shredded, is increasingly popular due to its convenience and long shelf life.
This collection of suet recipes contains some delicious inspiration for hearty suppers and comforting desserts. Puddings and pies are a classic use of suet, with the rich flavour of suet pairing perfectly with meat and gravy. Shay Cooper's gourmet spin on the traditional Steak and kidney pudding is filled with oxtail and red wine, while Dominic Chapman's Chicken and mushroom pie recipe uses suet as an alternative to butter to create golden, flaky pastry. Suet need not be limited to the main course, however: Danny Kingston's Apple and quince suet pudding, served with bay-infused custard, demonstrates perfectly that suet works just as well in sweet dishes as savoury.
Vegetarian and gluten free suets are becoming more widely available and can be used in much the same way. Dominic Chapman uses vegetable suet in his Beef stew and dumplings recipe for the perfect hearty supper, while Karen Burns Booth mixes suet with a blend of herbs to serve alongside her Sausage and apple casserole. Take a look at our guide on how to make suet dumplings to achieve the perfect golden, fluffy addition to your next casserole.