Updated: Nov 11, 2019
Growing up in the late 80’s/early 90‘s my mum made some of the best meals that I can remember but two dishes that stand out from all the rest were Navarin of Lamb and Beef Stew with doughboys. They were incredible but it was really the doughboys that did it for me. They are normally called dumplings, made with flour and Atora Beef Suet but for whatever reason, we called them doughboys. On hindsight, I did love my food so maybe I was called a dough boy...either way they are delicious.
Making this dish I want to try and recreate that magic only my mum could master in the kitchen but make it a little bit different...a little more grown up so I decided upon a suet pudding. It’s a classic British dish and you can put any filling you want inside so I opted for a nice hearty venison and ale stew, using a lovely ale from Innis & Gunn.
This recipe is really straightforward and despite the 3.5 hour cooking time, it is well worth the wait. Ideal for a Sunday dinner on a cold autumnal evening, you will be fit to burst after a portion of this.
By all means give it a try, let me know how you get on.
Venison & Ale Suet Pudding
450g diced venison
340g self raising flour
170g shredded beef suet
1 beef stock cube
3 carrots, diced
2 brown onions, diced
5 closed cup mushrooms, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
1 bottle Innis & Gunn Blood Red Sky Beer
Pomora Olive oil
16cm non stick pudding basin
Deep roasting tin
In a large bowl, add your flour, suet and salt then mix well with a spoon. Slowly add the water and stir until becomes firm. Roll out onto a well floured surface, knead the dough for a couple of minutes then refrigerate for one hour.
Prepare all of your vegetables and add them to a hot frying pan along with a generous glug of olive oil, I use Pomora Extra Virgin Olive oil. Let them soften on a medium heat for 5 minutes then transfer the contents to a bowl. Add your diced venison to the same pan and brown the meat for 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a bowl and place to one side.
Using the same pan, pour one bottle of dark ale, I used Innis & Gunn Blood Red Sky, into the pan along with beef stock cube, bay leaves and a whole sprig of rosemary. Bring it to a gentle simmer and let it reduce, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat when the sauce thickens.
Preheat your oven to 160c.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out until it is roughly 1cm thick. Line your pudding basin with the dough and cut any excess. Roll out the excess pastry, this will make your lid.
Fill the pastry basin with the meat and vegetables then pour the sauce on top, ensuring the meat is well coated. Place the pastry lid on top and fold over the edges and seal shut.
Grab some baking paper and fold it so that it covers the top of the pudding. Place a double layer of foil on top of the baking paper and fold over the sides of the basin. Using a piece of string, tie a loop around the edge of the basin and seal shut.
Place a cookie cutter in the middle of a deep roasting tin and place the pudding basin on top. Fill the tin with water so that it reaches half way up the roasting tin. Place in the oven and cook for 3.5 hours.
When the pudding is ready, remove the foil and baking paper then transfer onto a plate. Serve with sides of choice.