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.
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.
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
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.