- Serves: 4
- Cook Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Effort: medium
For the suet crust pastry
- 700 g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
- pinch salt
- 350 g shredded beef suet
For the filling
- 800 g beef shin, cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
- knob unsalted butter
- 2 onions, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 4 rock oysters, shucked
- 100 ml London porter, or similar dark beer
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
For the grilled oysters
- 4 rock oysters, shucked
- handful white breadcrumbs
- 1 handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 lemon, zest only
Tips and Suggestions
Good pastry needs a cool environment. You need your kitchen, surfaces, utensils and hands all to be cool. It is a good idea to put your mixing bowl or food processor bowl and blade in the fridge for an hour before starting.
You can use either beef suet or vegetable suet when making suet pastry.
1. For the suet crust pastry: Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Season with some freshly ground black pepper, then add the suet and mix it into the flour using the blade of a knife. Add a few drops of cold water and mix it into the flour and suet with the knife, repeating until the mixture comes together to form a sticky dough.
2. Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and lightly knead until smooth and elastric. Save a quarter of the dough for the lid, then separate the remaining dough into four equal pieces and roll each out into a circle about a thickness of about 1cm/½in.
3. Grease four 1 pint pudding basins and line using the rolled out pastry, making sure there is a bit hanging over the edges.
4. For the filling: toss the beef shin in the seasoned flour, then mix with the onion and garlic, the oysters (with their juice), the beer, tomato purée and herbs. Divide the mixture evenly among the four pudding basins, making sure there is one oyster in each.
5. Divide the remaining pastry into four equal pieces and roll out each to form a pastry lid. Place over the pudding and seal well, trimming away any excess. Cover the puddings with a sheet of greaseproof paper, followed by aluminium foil, ensuring to add pleats in the middle to allow room for expansion during cooking. Secure the wrapped puddings with kitchen string.
6. Place the puddings into a steamer and steam for 3-4 hours, topping up with boiling water as necessary.
7. For the grilled oysters: place the shucked oysters on the half shell onto a piece of foil or mound of salt to keep them stable. Mix together the breadcrumbs, parsley and lemon zest and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place under a hot grill until the topping is golden-brown and crisp.
8. Serve the grilled oysters alongside the beef and porter puddings.
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