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Beef suet puddings with cauliflower cheese and kidneys cooked in sherry

Ingredients

For the beef
For the suet puddings
For the parmentier potatoes
  • 2 large potatoes, unpeeled

  • 50g/2oz butter

For the kidneys
For the cauliflower cheese purée
For the peas

Preparation method

  1. For the beef, heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and fry for 6-8 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown.

  2. Sprinkle the flour onto a plate and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dredge the cubes of beef in the seasoned flour until coated.

  3. Add the coated beef cubes to the pan with the bacon in it and fry for 4-5 minutes, turning regularly, until browned.

  4. Add the onions and continue to fry for 3-4 minutes, or until softened but not coloured.

  5. Add the wine, stock, bouquet garni, Worcestershire sauce and brandy and stir to combine. Cover the pan with a lid and bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the meat is tender and falling apart (about two hours if using braising steak, or three hours if using shin).

  6. When the meat is tender, increase the heat and bring the cooking liquid to the boil. Continue to cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the volume of liquid has reduced by about half. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

  7. Meanwhile, for the suet puddings, grease eight small pudding basins with butter.

  8. In a bowl, mix together the flour, suet, thyme, sage and salt until well combined.

  9. Gradually add just enough water until the mixture comes together as a firm dough (you may not need to use all of the water).

  10. Add the egg yolk and knead it into the dough until well combined. Cover the bowl and chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

  11. When the dough has chilled, pinch off eight equal portions of the dough.

  12. Roll the first portion of dough into a ball and pinch off about a quarter of it. Roll the larger ball of dough out onto a lightly floured work surface into a large thin circle (set the smaller portion aside).

  13. Line one of the prepared pudding basins with the suet pastry disc.

  14. Fill the lined pudding basin with some of the beef and red wine sauce until it is three-quarters full.

  15. Roll out the smaller portion of suet pastry onto a lightly floured work surface until it is just larger than the top of the pudding basin.

  16. Brush the rim of the lined pudding basin with a little of the beaten egg. Cover the pudding basin with this pastry 'lid', pressing the edges of the pastry together to seal. Trim off any excess.

  17. Brush the pastry 'lid' all over with a little more of the beaten egg.

  18. Repeat the process with the remaining suet pastry and filling mixture until you have prepared eight individual puddings and all of the beef has been used up (reserve any leftover red wine sauce).

  19. Wrap each pudding basin tightly in two sheets of aluminium foil.

  20. Prepare a steamer large enough to hold all of the pudding basins (alternatively, cook the puddings in batches). Steam the puddings for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through.

  21. Meanwhile, for the parmentier potatoes, boil the potatoes, whole and in their skins, in a large pan of salted water for 18-20 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and set aside to cool. Once cool, peel away the skins and cut the potatoes into 1cm/½in cubes. Set aside to cool, then chill in the fridge.

  22. Heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cold diced potatoes and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown on all sides. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  23. Meanwhile, for the kidneys, heat one tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until softened.

  24. Add the garlic and thyme and fry for a further 1-2 minutes.

  25. In a separate frying pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat. Add the kidneys and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until just browned.

  26. Add the browned kidneys to the pan with the vegetables in it.

  27. Add the sherry to the pan the kidneys were cooked in and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon to deglaze. Add the sherry and pan juices to the vegetables and kidneys and stir well to combine. Continue to cook for a further 1-2 minutes.

  28. Stir in the crème fraîche and heat through. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the parsley. Keep warm.

  29. For the cauliflower cheese, boil the cauliflower florets in a pan for 4-5 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and pat dry with kitchen paper.

  30. Transfer the cauliflower florets to a food processor. Add the cream and blend to a purée. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  31. Return the mixture to a clean pan and warm over a low heat. Stir in the cheese until melted.

  32. For the peas, boil the peas in a pan of boiling water until tender. Drain well and return the peas to the pan. Stir in the oregano and butter. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Crush lightly with a potato masher. Set aside and keep warm.

  33. Just before serving, heat the remaining red wine sauce in a pan until warmed through.

  34. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve. Add a knob of butter to the strained liquid and stir until melted.

  35. To serve, unwrap one beef suet pudding and turn it out of its mould and onto a serving plate. Spoon some of the kidneys alongside. Press a portion of the crushed peas into a chefs' ring and remove the ring. Spoon the cauliflower cheese purée and parmentier potatoes alongside. Drizzle over the red wine sauce.

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