Steak and kidney pudding

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Shay Cooper presents a refined take on the rustic, comforting classic. He uses oxtail, as opposed to the traditional braising steak, and veal kidneys for a touch of luxury. The elements in this steak and kidney pudding recipe do take time to prepare, so save it for a rainy day.

First published in 2015




Suet pudding

  • 500g of strong bread flour
  • 250g of suet
  • 10g of salt
  • 350ml of water
  • 25g of baking powder
  • butter for greasing
  • flour for dusting

Oxtail and kidney



  • Steam oven or steamer
  • Individual pudding basins


Begin by preparing the suet pastry for the pudding. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Add the suet and mix with a heavy metal spoon. Add the water and continue mixing until a smooth dough forms
  • 500g of strong bread flour
  • 250g of suet
  • 10g of salt
  • 350ml of water
  • 25g of baking powder
Cover the bowl in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge overnight
After this time, remove the dough from the fridge. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a thickness of 5mm. Grease 6 small individual pudding bowls with butter, then lightly dust with flour
  • butter for greasing
  • flour for dusting
Cut the dough into 6 large 8-9cm discs and use to line the pudding bowls, making sure there is enough pastry left to cut out circular lids for the puddings. Allow to rest at room temperature for up to an hour
Heat a small dash of oil in a large oven dish over a high heat, then sear the oxtail, colouring all over until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest. Deglaze the pan with red wine and pour on to the oxtail
Add a dash more oil, then add the carrot, onion and celery. Cook until the onion and celery begin to soften and turn translucent. Add the chicken stock, thyme and garlic and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then turn down the heat to a simmer and add the oxtail
Preheat the oven to 160˚C/gas mark 3
Remove the dish from the heat and wrap tightly with foil. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 3 hours, or until the oxtail is tender. Remove from the oven and allow the meat to cool in the liquid
Pick the meat from the bones and set aside in a bowl. Meanwhile, pass the remaining liquid through a fine chinois and reduce by 2/3 over a medium heat. Set 100ml of the reduced liquid aside at room temperature for the lentils
Slice the mushrooms into quarters and sauté for 4 minutes in a pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl with the oxtail
In the same pan, sauté the diced veal kidneys, then remove from the heat and add to the oxtail
  • 200g of veal kidney, diced
Add a dash of olive oil and a knob of butter to the pan and sweat the sliced onions over a medium heat until translucent and tender. Then, add the onions to the oxtail mix
Finally, add the Pommery mustard, the remaining reduced liquid and a dash of Worcestershire sauce to the mix and stir to combine. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper
Spoon the oxtail mix into the lined pudding bowls and top with a pastry lid. Moisten your fingers with water and tightly seal the lids onto the bases. Cover each pudding with a small square of baking paper and secure with an elastic band. Bring a pan of water to the boil or preheat a steam oven to 100% steam and steam the puddings for 50 minutes
Meanwhile, boil the lentils in salted water for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain the lentils from the water. In a small pan, reheat the 100ml of the reserved stock and add the lentils, stirring to combine. Finely chop all of the herbs and add them to the lentils. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to eat
Once the puddings are cooked, carefully remove from the steam oven or steamer. Turn out the puddings onto plates and spoon the lentils around them. Serve immediately
First published in 2015

One of England’s up-and-coming, ultra-talented chefs with Michelin pedigree, Shay Cooper started cooking as a commis chef in 1997, before he was even out of school.

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