Steak and Kidney Pudding

Steak and kidney pudding is a dish I grew up eating. For me it was always a meal that was a special treat. Don’t think I ever had steak and kidney pie growing up. I do have it every time I see it on a restaurant menu. Once I found steak and kidney pudding on a restaurant menu and was disappointed with it. It wasn’t how my mother made it and didn’t have much kidney in it. I made it myself a couple of times, but since I was the only one eating it and I didn’t want that much in leftovers I stopped making it. Here’s the stupid part of when I made  it. I called my mother each time and she told me how to make it, never did I write the directions down. That was a major mistake on my part. The exact way my mother made it is different from the recipes I have found in cookbooks or now online. The recipes I see have a fully lined bowl and my mother’s just had a top. The suet dumpling is a little different also. I thought I would never see a recipe the same as my mother made it.

When I found the 1909 magic baking powder cookbook, steak and kidney pudding was not what I expected to see in it. But there it was, the same recipe as my mother made. I had never ever seen my mother use a recipe when she made it, she just made it. It was a surprise,a very pleasant surprise. This recipe is going to take you thru the stages you need to use. But there’s a very important  thing your going to need to make it. You need a very large pudding bowl with a lip on the outside and a pot large enough to boil it in. I’ll start with the kidney.

1 large beef kidney or 2 smaller ones. You need just about 1 pound of kidney. You need to remove the membrane and fat and veins from the kidney. Cut into bite sized pieces, put in a large bowl of heavily salt water and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. Drain and rinse the kidneys and put in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Drain and repeat boiling for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

The suet dumpling is actually really easy.

5 cups of flour

1 and 1/2 cups suet

1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon pepper

enough ice cold water to make a soft dough

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, add water mixing with a spoon until you have a soft dough.

Now the steak part, which really is just stew meat. You can use steak if you want but your going to cut it up like stew meat.

2 pounds stew meat

1 large carrot sliced

1 onion diced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 and 1/2 tablespoons flour



Mix stew meat, kidney, carrot, onion, flour, salt and pepper together.

Now this is were it gets different. Take some of the dumpling dough a cover the lip of the pudding bowl with it. It only needs to be about 1/8 inch thick. You want it about 1 inch down the inside of the bowl rolling over the top and down the outside about an inch. It needs to be tightly adhered to the bowl. You then put a small cup or a heat proof glass upside down in the bottom middle of the bowl. This is to support the top. My mother used a glass egg cup that had a stand, which I now have. Fill the bowl with the meat mixture. Add enough cold water until it is just about covering the meat. Roll out the remaining dumpling into a round shape that will cover the top over lapping it by about an inch. Moisten the dough around the bowl well and place the dumpling on top. Press the dumpling into the dough around the bowl. Take a wet tea towel and loosely cover the dumpling, tie the towel tightly with string.  It needs to be loose because the dumpling will expand. Tie it so it is just in the dough area about 1/4 inch. Place in a large pot and fill with water till just below the string. Cover the pot with a very tight fitting lid. You can cover with foil then put the lid on to make sure it’s tight fitting. Bring to a gentle boil and boil for 6 to 8 hours. Check about every hour and a half and add more boiling water if needed. Remove from the pot and take the towel off and serve.




About Graham Stewart

This is me on a bad day.
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6 Responses to Steak and Kidney Pudding

  1. Ok…I’ve finally found where our paths diverge. I’ve never had kidney pudding. I’m willing to try anything, though.

  2. A_Boleyn says:

    I saw the title of the post and came to read as I have a bit of history with steak and kidney pudding.

    I’m a great reader of English mysteries so I was always intrigued by the recipes that the characters in the current Agatha Christie or Conan Doyle novel I was reading were eating. Steak and kidney pudding was one of them. Sadly, I’m not as fond of beef kidneys as of chicken kidneys. The same with liver. The taste of the beef ones is just so much stronger. So in my first attempt at a steak and kidney pudding, I ‘chickened out’ and skipped the kidneys and substituted them with mushrooms. Delicious but hardly the same thing. I’ve made shooter’s sandwiches a couple of times but desserts ie biscuits are more in my wheel-house of British/UK dishes to make. 🙂

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