Steak & kidney pudding

Photography: Michael Hart

Full of tender meat in a thick sauce, this classic steamed pudding – the ultimate comfort food – is guaranteed to hit the spot.

Surely one of Britain’s national dishes, steak and kidney pudding has only been around since the mid-1800s. Beefsteak puddings had already featured on the British menu – indeed the poet and cook Eliza Acton’s own creation, Ruth Pinch’s Beefsteak Pudding, was named after one of the characters in Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens – but it wasn’t until 1861 that the first recipe for the pud that we know and love today appeared in Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management. Cockneys often refer to this national institution as Kate and Sidney pud.

  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cooking time 4 hours & 30 minutes
  • Portion size 8 servings



To make the pastry, place the suet, self-raising flour and salt in a large bowl. Gradually add 250 mL water, mixing until a soft dough is formed.

Tear off one-third of the dough and set aside. Roll out the remainder to a 30 cm (12-inch) circle, about 5 mm ( 1⁄4 inch) thick. Grease a 1.7 L pudding basin with butter and line with the pastry circle, gently pushing into the sides of the basin. Using a sharp knife, trim any excess.

Skin the kidneys and cut in half. Using a pair of scissors, remove the sinews and discard. Cut the kidneys into small pieces, place in a large bowl with the steak and onion, and toss through the plain flour. Transfer the mixture to the pudding basin. Mix the Worcestershire sauce with the stock and pour over the meat.

Roll out the reserved pastry to form a lid large enough to fit neatly inside the basin. Place over the meat, then lightly dampen the edges of the lid with a little water. Fold over the pastry from the sides of the basin and press the edges together to seal.

Cover the pudding with a large disc of pleated baking parchment followed by a sheet of pleated foil (this allows the pastry to expand when cooking) and secure with kitchen string, trimming any excess foil.

Place on an inverted heatproof plate in a large saucepan and pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the basin. Cover and simmer for 4 1⁄2 hours over low heat, topping up with boiling water when necessary. Remove and cool a little before inverting onto a plate to serve.



Vegetable suet – vegetarian substitute for animal suet, made with vegetable oil and stabilizers; there’s no easy substitute for it, so look for it in imported food shops

Plain flour – all-purpose flour





Nutritional facts Per serving: about

  • Calories 507
  • Total fat 18.9 g
  • Saturated fat 10.1 g
  • Sodium 800 mg
  • Sugars 2.2 g
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Steak & Kidney Pudding