Heat a large pan and cook the onion
and lardons together for 5 mins until
golden. Scoop out with a slotted spoon
and set aside. Add the oil to the pan,
dust the beef with the flour, then evenly
brown over a high heat.
Add the parsnips, ale, stock, jelly,
thyme and lardon mixture to the pan.
Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer
for 1½ hrs until the meat is tender.
Generously butter a 1.5-litre pudding
basin. To make the pastry, mix together
the flour, mustard powder, suet and
½ tsp table salt. Add enough cold water,
about 150ml, to make a soft dough.
Remove one-quarter of the dough and set
to one side. On a heavily floured surface,
roll out the remaining dough to make a
large round, big enough to line the basin.
Carefully lay the pastry in the basin
(aim to have 1cm of pastry overhanging
the rim), then press the edges of the join
together to seal. Roll out the remaining
one-quarter into a circle big enough to
cover the top.
Pour off the cooking liquid from the
filling into a small pan and set aside.
Discard the thyme stalks. Spoon the
filling into the lined basin and pour over
100ml of the cooking liquid. Fold over the
overhanging pastry and brush with water.
Place the lid on top, pressing firmly
around the edges to seal.
Butter a sheet of baking parchment,
fold in a large pleat and lay, butter-side
down, on top of the pudding. Cover with
a pleated layer of foil and finally tie with
string, making a loop for the handle so
you can lift the pudding easily.
Sit a small trivet or a large cookie cutter
in the bottom of a deep saucepan that’s
big enough to take the basin easily.
Half-fill the pan with water and bring to
the boil. Lower in the pudding, cover and
simmer for 2 hrs, topping up with boiling
water when necessary.
Reheat the cooking liquid, bubbling it
down a little so it reduces into a tasty
gravy. Carefully lift out the pudding. Run
a knife around the rim, then turn out and
serve with gravy and greens, if you like.