Sundays with Chef Peter….
Well once again Happy New Year Daahlings, I do hope that 2013 has got off to a fabulous start, mine has!
I have decided to start 2013 with a completely new outlook. I’m having a bash at another new business in Phuket. Self Employed status is what I believe to be like child birth… sort of never again… until next time!!!!! But then you do. This is what my ladies tell me.
I am embarking on my nouveau petit bakery which will be called “Les Diables” (last business was “Les Anges”!) where I will be producing all my goodies and things I specialize in, wedding cakes, celebration cakes and all things sweet for people to enjoy. I do hope that if you are passing through or staying in Phuket, that you’ll pop by and say hello. It is located in the Boat Lagoon in Koh Kaew and will “hopefully” be open for wholesale business by the end of the month, retail a little later…. Updates in Phuket time!
I was at home in Devon, England in December and it was COLD, cold but beautiful, you know those days, frosty mornings, clear and sunny with your breath steaming. Days are short and it gets dark early and..... even colder! This is the time when you start to think of all those comfort foods you love to eat, pies, stews with dumplings, roast dinners and suet puddings warming the cockles of your heart.
It’s a good steak and kidney pudding that came to my mind and mums kitchen and that’s what I want to share with you today. Took me back to when I was a boy watching mum cook and just getting so excited for tea time!
To be honest though, you don’t need to be in cold weather to enjoy one of these, they are delicious anytime and easy to make and something everyone should try once… you know like sex daahlings……!
I made mine with steak, kidney and mushroom but you can change, add more vegetables if you like, leave out the kidneys if you don’t like and customize it to your own taste, easy to make as you’ll see with just a little patience for the cooking!
All you will need is a well-buttered, 1.5 litre pint capacity pudding bowl and a steamer or a saucepan of boiling water with a trivet in the bottom to keep the bowl off the bottom of the pan to avoid your pudding burning.
For the suet crust pastry:
· 350 grams All purpose flour
· Salt and ground black pepper
· 175 grams shredded beef suet
· Cold water
· Chopped herbs (parsley, chives, celery leaves, mustard seed) if you fancy. I added as I wanted to see how it turned out this time, not a big difference but it did add a little something to the pastry.
· 500 grams chuck steak
· 200 grams Ox, pigs or lambs kidney (I used lambs this time)
· 200 grams Mushrooms (quartered)
· 50 grams seasoned flour
· 1 medium onion, chopped
· Cold water
· 1 teaspoon Worcestershire or oyster sauce
· Salt and freshly ground black pepper
· 500 ml beef stock/gravy or plain water (this time I used an instant gravy just to see and it worked really well)
2. Add the ground black pepper and herbs (if you’re using them), then add the suet and mix together. When it's evenly blended, add a few drops of cold water and start to mix with your hands. Bring it together as a dough and keep adding drops of water until it begins to get sticky. Bring it all together until you have a nice smooth elastic dough, which leaves the bowl clean. Suet pastry always needs more water than other types, so if it is still a bit dry just go on adding a few drops of water at a time.
3. Take a quarter of the dough and put aside for the lid and roll the rest out fairly thickly. What you need is a circle, about 33cm/13in in diameter. Now line the bowl with the pastry, pressing it well all around.
Line the pudding bowl with the suet pastry
Pastry for the lid....
4. Cut the steak into 2.5cm/1” cubes and kidney into fairly small cubes, toss them in the seasoned flour, add them to the pastry-lined basin with the mushrooms and onion.
5. Add enough beef stock, gravy or plain water to reach almost the top of the meat and sprinkle in a few drops of Worcestershire sauce or oyster sauce and another seasoning of salt and pepper.
6. Roll out the pastry lid, dampen its edges and put it in position on the pudding. Seal well and cover with a double sheet of foil, pleated in the centre to allow room for expansion while cooking.
7. Secure it with string, making a little handle so that you can lift it out of the hot water. Then place it in a steamer over boiling water. Steam for a good five hours, topping up the boiling water every hour or so or as needed.
8. For serving, either serve the pudding by spooning portions straight out of the bowl, or slide a knife round the edge and turn the whole thing out on to a serving plate.
9. Serve on its own or with your favourite vegetables (I served garden peas and runner beans with mine which I love)!
Voila darlings, a treat for all your family to enjoy come rain or shine, snow or ice!
Till next week...