The greatest steak and ale pudding

Enjoy a classic British dish with Paul Bloxham's richly flavourful version of a traditional beef pudding, flavoured with good ale
By Paul Bloxham
The greatest steak and ale pudding
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: medium



  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 kg chuck steak, chopped into large chunks
  • 200 g wild mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 stick celery
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp thyme, leaves only
  • black pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 300 ml ale
  • 1 bay leaf

For the pastry:

  • 400 g self-raising flour
  • black pepper
  • 200 g suet
  • 300 ml cold water
  • 1 tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • roasted root vegetables, to serve


1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Add in the steak and mushrooms and cook briskly, stirring, until the meat is browned.

2. Add in the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and thyme, mixing well. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Fry, stirring, for 3 minutes.

3. Mix in the tomato puree and flour, followed by most of the ale reserving a little) and the bay leaf. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

4. Meanwhile, make the suet pastry. Sift the flour and the salt into a large bowl. Add in the suet and season with freshly ground pepper.

5. Lightly mix and add the water a little at a time, also adding in the walnuts, horseradish and parsley. Using your hands mix to form a soft dough.

6. On a lightly floured work surface roll out the dough into a round disc approximately 1cm thick. Set aside about a quarter of the dough to use for the lid.

7. Use the remainder of the suet dough to line a well buttered 1.7 litre pudding basin, leaving at least 1cm of the suet dough hanging over the edge.

8. Spoon the cooled beef and mushroom mixture into the lined pudding basin. Add the reserved ale.

9. Roll out the remaining dough into a disc large enough to form a lid. Place the disc over the filling, fold the overhanging border over the disc, pressing the dough together firmly to seal it.

10. Cover the pudding with a double piece of buttered kitchen foil, pleated in the middle. Tie in place with string.

11. Steam the pudding on an upturned plate in a steamer or large saucepan filled with hot water for 3 hours, topping up with water now and then so as not to let the water boil dry.

12. To serve, turn out the pudding onto a large platter. Cut a wedge of the pudding and place on a serving plate with some roasted root vegetables.

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