Andrew McLaglen's English Steak and Kidney Pudding
For the Suet Pastry:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 lb. finely chopped beef suet
1 tsp. salt
Dash of white pepper
About 6 tbsps. ice water
Combine flour, suet, salt and pepper in large, well-chilled bowl. With fingers, rub flour and fat together until mixture is the texture of cornmeal. Add water, knead well. Form pastry into ball with hands. If dough is crumbly, add 2 tsps. ice cold water, 1 tsp. at a time, until dough sticks together. Knead dough on lightly floured board until smooth and satiny (about 6-8 minutes), dust with flour, wrap loosely with wax paper; refrigerate at least 1 hour.
For the pudding:
2 lbs. top round steak, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 lb. lamb kidneys, peeled, trimmed, cut in 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup flour
2 tsps. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
1 1/2 cups boiling water
Place steak and lamb kidneys in large bowl. Mix together 1/2 cup flour with salt, pepper and nutmeg; sprinkle over meat, toss to coat meat evenly. Add mushrooms, onion and parsley, toss lightly. Roll out two-thirds of pastry on lightly floured board (or pastry cloth), forming circle 14-inches in diameter, 1/4-inch thick. Line 6-cup, heatproof bowl (or casserole), measuring 7 inches in diameter, 4 inches deep with crust. Press lower crust lightly with fingers so pastry sticks to bowl (or casserole).
Place seasoned beef-lamb mixture in center of crust, mounding mixture in center. Pour in boiling water. Roll out remaining pastry, forming 8-inch circle for upper crust. Trim excess pastry from lower crust; moisten edges lightly with cold water, using pastry brush (or fingers). Top with upper crust, trim off excess upper crust at edges. Press, flute upper and lower crusts together, sealing well with fingers (or fork). Place a lightly buttered 10-inch round of aluminum foil over top of pudding, fold under edges to hold in place. Lightly dampen muslin cloth (or clean kitchen towel) with cold water; wring dry. Lay cloth (or towel) flat; sprinkle with remaining flour, shake off excess flour. Place floured cloth (or towel) over top of bowl (or casserole); tie in place with string 1 1/2 to 2-inches from top of bowl. Tie two ends of towel diagonally over top of pudding; repeat using opposite ends. Place bowl (or casserole) in large stock pot, (or steamer), pour in enough boiling water to come 3/4 way up sides of bowl (or casserole). Heat to boiling point; cover pot. Reduce heat to low simmer. Steam 5 hours, add more water as needed. To serve, remove from stock pot (or steamer); remove towel and foil covering. Serve at once. Serves 6-8.
Thoughts: Andy's recipe should be followed precisely. Suet works best (do not substitute shortening); do choose heatproof bowl (or casserole) in dimensions recommended. Use trivet in bottom of stock pot if using glass bowl if steamer is not available. The results are worth waiting for!