Wild venison, field mushroom & ale pudding

Wild venison, field mushroom & ale pudding

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(3 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 4 hrs, 30 mins Plus chilling

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 4 - 6

A wonderful take on a classic steak & kidney pudding, using the best autumnal ingredients

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info


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For the pastry

  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 225g shredded beef suet

For the filling

  • 1 tbsp each butter and vegetable oil, plus extra oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 large field mushrooms, stems removed
  • 500g venison shoulder, cut into 2cm cubes, trimmed or sinew
  • 1 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 200ml brown ale
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked

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  1. First make the pastry. Sift 1 tsp salt and flour together and stir in the suet. Add 300ml cold water and work until it all comes together into a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hr.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan. Gently fry the onions and garlic for 10 mins until soft. Tip out of the pan, then add a little more oil. Now fry the mushrooms until golden, then tip out. Toss the venison in the flour and fry in batches, adding more oil as you go, until really golden brown. Mix the purée, ale, sugar and thyme into the pan, then cool.
  3. Now butter a 2½ pt/1.4-litre basin. Roll the suet pastry out to about 1cm thick and use to line the sides of the basin. Trim so that there’s a little overhang. Re-roll what’s left and cut out a lid that’s about 1cm wider than the top of the basin. Put the mushrooms around the sides of the basin, stalks facing in, then fill the basin with meat and juices. You might not need all the juices.
  4. Place the lid on top and crimp the edges together to seal. Make a double layer of buttered foil and baking paper, and pleat it in the centre. Scrunch this over the pudding, foil-side up, then tie with string under the rim of the basin. Trim to about 2cm under the string, then put into a steamer or sit on a saucer in a large pan containing enough gently simmering water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl. Steam the pudding for 4 hrs. Unwrap and turn out onto a big plate. I like to serve this with broccoli or cauliflower cheese.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2009

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sllyst's picture

I was really looking forward to trying this recipe but i really didn't like it. The suet pastry was tasteless and the filling was slightly bitter from the ale. I made more gravy from the feedback but most of it went in the bin, really disappointed with all that effort and time cooking!

leanne_crowley's picture

Could I make this into individual puddings for a dinner party? If so how long would I need to cook them for? Thanks

comraich's picture
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I cooked two of these for a family gathering of 14 over Christmas and they were excellent. I prepared the meat about a week beforehand and froze it, which improved the flavour. I substituted half the venison for mixed game, which reduced the cost and on the day I took others advice and made extra gravy using an ale/red wine base with thyme - perfect! Put the defrosted meat in the pastry, put both in pans with lids on and steamed in the bottom of the Aga bottom oven for 4 hours. A great dish, which was a real treat over the holidays.

Foodmonster2's picture
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Gorgeous! My first ever steamed pudding and at came out great. Next time I would use some little button mushrooms instead of the big flat ones, as they were awkward to cut through when serving. I found the pastry also a little too thick, will try making it about 1/2 cm next time. Thyme and ale is such a great combination, I made more gravy with it to pour over the veg. Yumm!

shaslam's picture
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Yummy. I made this with red wine instead of beer. Needed salt in the venison and a bit more liquid but it was really nice. 8/10. With the salt and more liquid would have been a 10

cloclo's picture

looks lovely and rich