Oxtail and kidney pudding

  • medium
  • Makes enough for 12 pies
  • 4 hours 15 minutes
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Pete Gray of The Hind's Head, Heston Blumenthal's Michelin-starred pub in Bray, serves up the ultimate oxtail and kidney pudding recipe. As is to be expected from this restaurant, every element is cooked to perfection. If you're feeling precise, be sure to buy a syringe before attempting this dish so you can inject some of the rich, beautiful sauce into the centre of the puddings just before serving.

First published in 2018






Suet pastry

  • 500g of self-raising flour
  • 250g of shredded suet
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp of baking powder
  • unsalted butter, softened, to line pudding basins
  • flour, to dust pudding basins
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten to use as egg wash


  • Pressure cooker
  • Blowtorch
  • Steamer
  • Pastry brush
  • 150ml pudding basins 12
  • Syringe (optional)


To begin, make the oxtail and kidney filling. Add enough oil to coat the base of a pressure cooker and place over a medium heat, without the lid on. Gently cook the celery, leeks and carrots until softened. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside
  • grapeseed oil
  • 75g of celery, sliced
  • 175g of leek, (white part only), sliced
  • 175g of carrots, peeled and sliced
Add a little more oil, add the mushrooms and cook until caramelised. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Add more oil if necessary and cook the onions and star anise until soft and caramelised. Return all the cooked vegetables to the pan, cook for 5 minutes, then remove and set aside
Add a splash of water to deglaze the base of the pan, then add this liquid to the cooked vegetables
To braise the oxtail, return the pressure cooker to the heat. Once smoking hot, add enough oil to coat the base of the pan and brown the oxtail in batches. Tip out any excess fat, set the oxtail pieces to one side and deglaze the pan by adding the red wine and brandy. Carefully flame off the alcohol using a blowtorch
Once the flames have died down, add the tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, the cooked vegetables, browned oxtail, peppercorns and both chicken and beef stocks. Bring the pressure cooker to full pressure, reduce the heat and cook for 2 hours
To make the pastry, mix the flour, suet, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Sprinkle 300g ice cold water over the mixture and work into a smooth dough. Knead lightly and place in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes

Divide the pastry into 12 equal portions and roll out circles that are approximately 3mm in thickness. Grease 12 x 150ml pudding basins with a little butter and a dusting of flour and line with the pastry circles

  • unsalted butter, softened, to line pudding basins
  • flour, to dust pudding basins

After 2 hours, place the pressure cooker in a sink of iced water to cool completely before removing the lid. Remove the oxtail and pick the meat from the bones. Strain and discard the vegetables and aromatics then return the liquid to the pan. Reduce to a thick glaze, removing any foam and impurities that may rise to the surface


Set some sauce aside to pour over the pudding or inject into the puddings using a syringe just before serving. Add the picked meat, kidney pieces and some of the sauce to a bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir together before spooning into each pudding basin until they are full. Any leftover filling can be frozen for other pie fillings or dishes

With the remaining pastry, roll out lids to cover the basins (approximately 6mm in thickness). Brush the edges with the egg wash and press down firmly to seal, trimming off the excess dough
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten to use as egg wash
Place a square of parchment paper on each pudding and secure with an elastic band. Place in a steamer for approximately 35 minutes, before carefully removing the puddings from the moulds. Use a syringe to inject some of the reserved sauce into each pudding, or simply serve the sauce alongside
First published in 2018

After training under chefs such as Paul Kitching and Adam Simmonds, Pete Gray now leads the kitchen at Heston Blumenthal’s The Hind’s Head, creating British pub classics with incredible technical precision.

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