Steak & kidney pudding

This classic British recipe by Elaine Paige uses suet pastry, lean stewing steak and a rich, thick stout gravy. Serve with creamy mash and fresh greens

  • Prep:40 mins
    Cook:4 hrs
  • Serves 4
  • A challenge

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 904
  • fat 45g
  • saturates 21g
  • carbs 79g
  • sugars 8g
  • fibre 6g
  • protein 40g
  • salt 1.6g


  • 2 ½ tbsp dripping or vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, halved and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 400g diced lean stewing steak
  • 2 kidneys (about 150g), halved, cored and cut into chunks
  • 200ml stout
  • 200ml strong beef stock
  • mashed potato and greens, to serve
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 150g beef suet
  • soft butter, for greasing
  • chopped parsley (optional)


Get ahead

To save time, you can prepare the pudding filling a day ahead. Take a look at our video on steaming a pudding.



  1. Melt 1 1/2 tbsp of the dripping in a large, non-stick pan. Fry the onions, carrot and bay leaves for 15 mins, stirring frequently, until golden.

  2. Mix the flour, mustard powder and some seasoning in a large bowl, then toss in the steak and kidneys until they are coated. Remove the vegetables from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the remaining dripping to the pan and fry the meat until browned.

  3. Stir the stout into the remaining flour left in the bowl, then pour into the pan of meat with the stock, and stir over the heat until thickened to a gravy. Return the vegetables to the pan, cover tightly and simmer for 1 hr 15 mins-1 hr 30 mins, stirring frequently, so that the flour in the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. If necessary, add a drop or two of water to loosen the consistency, but not too much as you want a thick gravy. The meat won’t be completely tender, but it will cook further in the pudding. Set aside to cool or chill overnight.

  4. To make the suet pastry, put the flour, baking powder and suet in a bowl with 1/2 tsp salt. Pour in 150ml cold water and stir with a round-bladed knife to bring the mixture together as a dough. Tip onto a lightly floured surface, knead briefly until smooth, then cut off 1/4 and set aside.

  5. Very generously grease a 1.2-litre pudding basin. Roll out the biggest piece of dough to a circle large enough to line the inside of the basin right up to the rim. Press the pastry into the basin so that it is an even thickness, then spoon in the steak & kidney mixture. Roll out the remaining pastry to make a round to fit as a lid on top of the basin. Brush round the edge with water, then place on top of the filling, wetted-side down, and seal all the way round with the sides to enclose.

  6. Cover the basin with a double layer of greased baking parchment and foil, pleating them first to allow for expansion (alternatively, use muslin). Then tie with string, adding a string handle for easy lifting in and out of the pan.

  7. Put an upturned heatproof saucer in the base of a large pan and put the pudding basin on top. Pour in boiling water from the kettle to come 3/4 up the side of the basin, then cover the pan tightly with a lid. If you can’t close the pan, cover tightly with foil instead and leave to simmer for 2 hrs over a low heat. If you need to, top with more boiling water, but if the seal is tight, this shouldn’t be required.

  8. Remove the pudding from the pan and leave to settle for 5 mins, then turn out onto a plate, scatter with parsley (if you like), and serve with mash and greens.

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