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Beef, ale & parsnip pudding

  • 1 large onion, chopped Onion un-yunOnions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
  • 100g smoked bacon lardons
  • 2 tbsp olive oil Olive oil ol-iv oylProbably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
  • 500g lean stewing beef, cubed Beef bee-fThe classic cut of meat for a British Sunday roast, beef is full of flavour, as well as being a…
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 parsnips, cubed Parsnip par-snip The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise - it looks just…
  • 500ml brown ale
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 2 tbsp cranberry or redcurrant jelly
  • 4 thyme sprigs ThymeThis popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…
  • greens, to serve (optional)
  • butter, for greasing Butter butt-errButter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
  • 300g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp English mustard powder
  • 140g shredded suet
  • 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.