Wild venison, field mushroom & ale pudding
- Preparation and cooking time
- Plus chilling
- More effort
- Serves 4 - 6
A wonderful take on a classic steak & kidney pudding, using the best autumnal ingredients
For the pastry
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
- STEP 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.
- STEP 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.
- STEP 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.
- STEP 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.