Beef, ale & parsnip pudding

Contains pork – recipe is for non-Muslims only
A traditional steak and ale pie with suet pastry. Make the filling the night before then steam the pudding the following morning for a delicious Sunday lunch

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:3 hrs 30 mins
  • Serves 4
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 1072
  • fat 62g
  • saturates 28g
  • carbs 86g
  • sugars 15g
  • fibre 7g
  • protein 33g
  • salt 1.5g


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 100g smoked bacon lardons
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g lean stewing beef, cubed
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 parsnips, cubed
  • 500ml brown ale
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 2 tbsp cranberry or redcurrant jelly
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • greens, to serve (optional)
  • butter, for greasing
  • 300g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp English mustard powder
  • 140g shredded suet


  1. Heat a large pan and cook the onionand lardons together for 5 mins untilgolden. Scoop out with a slotted spoonand set aside. Add the oil to the pan,dust the beef with the flour, then evenlybrown over a high heat.

  2. Add the parsnips, ale, stock, jelly,thyme and lardon mixture to the pan.Bring to the boil, then cover and simmerfor 1½ hrs until the meat is tender.

  3. Generously butter a 1.5-litre puddingbasin. To make the pastry, mix togetherthe flour, mustard powder, suet and½ tsp table salt. Add enough cold water,about 150ml, to make a soft dough.Remove one-quarter of the dough and setto one side. On a heavily floured surface,roll out the remaining dough to make alarge round, big enough to line the basin.

  4. Carefully lay the pastry in the basin(aim to have 1cm of pastry overhangingthe rim), then press the edges of the jointogether to seal. Roll out the remainingone-quarter into a circle big enough tocover the top.

  5. Pour off the cooking liquid from thefilling into a small pan and set aside.Discard the thyme stalks. Spoon thefilling into the lined basin and pour over100ml of the cooking liquid. Fold over theoverhanging pastry and brush with water.Place the lid on top, pressing firmlyaround the edges to seal.

  6. Butter a sheet of baking parchment,fold in a large pleat and lay, butter-sidedown, on top of the pudding. Cover witha pleated layer of foil and finally tie withstring, making a loop for the handle soyou can lift the pudding easily.

  7. Sit a small trivet or a large cookie cutterin the bottom of a deep saucepan that’sbig enough to take the basin easily.Half-fill the pan with water and bring tothe boil. Lower in the pudding, cover andsimmer for 2 hrs, topping up with boilingwater when necessary.

  8. Reheat the cooking liquid, bubbling itdown a little so it reduces into a tastygravy. Carefully lift out the pudding. Runa knife around the rim, then turn out andserve with gravy and greens, if you like.

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