Mother’s Steak and Kidney Pudding

Well, it’s actually a Sainsburys recipe but if you don’t tell her I know then I won’t. Also, she’s never put kidney in it either because it’s bloody horrible. I have however heard that some people think organs are delicious so I have included them in this recipe but I am on your side if you choose to omit it.

I was taken to dinner in a pub once a few years ago and was actually surprised that the steak and kidney pudding had kidney in it, I assumed it was something people just didn’t use anymore but the name had stayed the same. Ah the follies of youth.

sainsburys pressure cooking

If you had a childhood like mine you had a parent with a pressure cooker, my mother has just given me hers that she had owned for nearly 40 years. It’s still going strong and still scares the hell out of me. Its big, loud, scary and has a knob on the top that I don’t know how to use. Thank goodness she also dropped off her very old fashioned copy of The Sainsbury Book of Pressure Cooking and I know looking at that book, it will bring home some memories for a few of you. Published in 1980 most of its offerings still stand up today, though I have chosen to give the tongue with hazelnut sauce a miss.

Within the pages of this little piece of kitchen history, before the treacle sponge and chocolate fudge pudding that was a regular on Sunday lunch table is the steak and kidney pudding. It instantly brings up memories of family dinners, mashed potatoes and hitting the deck when you heard that whistling. After realising last week I hadn’t eaten it since I was a child I suggested I make one for midweek dinner.  Here is how to do it (and you won’t need a pressure cooker if you don’t have one!).

2 tablespoons plain flour
500g stewing steak chopped into cubes, try and get as much of the sinew off as you can
125g kidney (ewwwww)
Oil for frying
1 chopped onion
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
150ml beef stock
(when I made this I added a chopped carrot and a chopped leek and instead of adding stock I crumbled a stock cube and then added a bottle of a cheap IPA from Tesco, on offer for just over £1)

250g self raising flour
125g shredded suet
Pinch of mixed, dried herbs
7 tablespoons of water


1) Season the flour with salt and pepper and use to coat the steak and kidney, heat the oil in a pan and fry until nice and brown. Take the meat out and pop in your veggies, fry till soft and add your tomato paste. Cook out for a few mins then re-add the meat and your stock, then simmer until thick.

2) As your filling is simmering, mix your pastry ingredients together and add the water little by little till combined. Then you knead it like you were kneading bread for about 10 mins. Cut off about a quarter and put to one side, roll out your large piece and place it inside a very greased (cannot stress enough to grease your dish)1 litre Pyrex dish.

3) Add your filling into the pastry filled bowl (only half the liquid) and roll out your lid and pinch together with a little water. Take a sheet of greaseproof paper, make a pleat in the middle and put over your pudding, securing with a piece of string. Repeat so you have two layers.

4) To cook in an old fashioned pressure cooker – Stand the pudding on the trivet in the pressure cooker with 3 pints of boiling water. Seal the cooker but don’t fix the weight. Steam for 20 minutes, put the pressure weight on and switch to low pressure. Cook for 30 mins, reduce the pressure at room temperature. Your more modern ones (which I have an eye on if you are reading this Tefal) will be far easier to use.

5) To cook in a pan – Find a large pan, put in something to use as a trivet that will stop the bowl from sitting on the bottom, fill to halfway up the pudding with boiling water and pop the lid on, steam on a medium heat for about 2-2.5 hours checking regularly to ensure it hasn’t boiled dry.

6) To use a slow cooker – Fill the slow cooker with boiling water up to halfway up the basin. Place on high for 8 hours.

7) Allow to rest for 5 minutes then turn the pudding out on to a warm serving dish.

5 Replies to “Mother’s Steak and Kidney Pudding”

  1. Offal is wonderful. You’ve just been eating it wrong.
    Sweetbreads and tongue are God’s greatest culinary gift.
    Having said that, kidneys are probably my least favourite organ meat.
    Narrowly beaten by tripe.

  2. We always used plain flour. When meat was rationed people used chopped potatoes and chopped onions to up for shortage of meat, believe me this was really tasty. some of older people also made it in a cloth and steamed it delicious.

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