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Beef Suet Pudding with Gravy and Porthilly Oyster by Paul Ainsworth

Serves: 6-8Category: BeefCourse: MainsMachine: MixerTotal time: 7 hours
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Nothing says cosy season like a comforting suet pudding. Paul’s take on this winter classic is filled with braised beef, slow roasted root veg in an aromatic red wine just. Served with a Porthilly oyster for a decadent touch.

Ingredients

For the pastry:

For the filling:To serve:

Tools

Method

For the pastry: 

  1. Mix the suet and butter together in your Kenwood mixer bowl and place into the freezer or fridge for 10 minutes to chill
  2. Add the flour, thyme, and salt to the bowl and on a low speed, using the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes
  3. Slowly add the ice-cold water until the dough comes together, then remove it from the machine and bring the dough together by hand.
  4. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge until needed
  5. Lightly flour your workbench, and using a rolling pin, roll the pastry out to ½ cm thick. Depending on the size of the pies you are making, you'll need to cut a large disc to fill the dish and a smaller disk for the lid/base. Each disc should be big enough to have excess pastry to trim off.
For the filling:
  1. Preheat your oven to 110c.
  2. Season the raw beef all over, about 1.5kg for 1kg worth of cooked meat.
  3. Roast the beef in a hot pan until you have a golden colour all over the beef. Then place the seared beef into an oven-proof pot and cover it with beef stock. Add any vegetable trimmings to the stock. With a lid on, cook slowly in the oven for about 5 hours. The meat should be soft and pickable.
  4. Leave the meat to cool in the liquid, then pick the meat into a bowl and strain the stock and retain it for the ragu.
  5. Use a large heavy-based pan and place it on medium to high heat. Add the vegetable oil to heat, then add the bacon and roast hard in the pan to achieve a good colour all over the bacon
  6. Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions, mixing well through the bacon and cook for a few minutes
  7. Now add the celery and carrot and repeat the process above
  8. Once the vegetables and bacon are starting to colour and soften, add the tomato puree and cook out for a few minutes. Now add the red wine and balsamic and reduce down until almost all the liquid has evaporated
  9. Add the tomato passata and reduce it down by half. Then add the strained beef stock from cooking the beef and reduce the ragu down by half until it is thick and glossy and will coat the cooked meat
  10. Turn the heat down to low and fold through the cooked and picked beef
  11. Finally, fold through the tomato dice and check the seasoning of the mixture. Add more salt and pepper if needed, and sherry vinegar which will help add acidity to the mix if needed.
  12. Make this mix well in advance of making your puddings, as the mix will get better once it's cooled and rested in all those lovely flavours

For the assemble and cook the puddings: 

  1. To make the puddings, lightly grease your pudding basin and line it with a double layer of cling film which overlaps the edges of the mould. Place your larger disc into the mould and press around the edges lining the dough into the basin.
  2. You can now fill each basin ½ from the top with your filling.
  3. Press the lid/base on top, pressing the edges firmly around to seal. Then use a fork to push the edges down to firmly seal the two-part discs together. Scrape off any excess pastry from the edge
  4. Fold the excess cling film over the lid and add another cling film lid, followed by a tin foil lid to seal the pudding during cooking.
  5. Steam the pudding or boil it in a pan of water with a lid on for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the pudding.
To finish: 
  1. Once the puddings are cooked and served on a plate or bowl, add the fresh oyster to the simmering gravy and remove from the heat. Place a lightly poached oyster on top of each pudding and pour over some more gravy to glaze the pudding. Place some picked thyme leaves over the pudding and a little pinch of Cornish sea salt to finish.