Yes, I have returned, albeit sporadically. You see, we bought the money pit. Yes, my new appliances are all in except for the fridge, which is coming on Saturday, but my new cabinets and countertops and floor are, sadly, waaaaay off in the distance. It’s one thing after another with this house. I’ve had the bamboo floors ripped up in the living room for a month now, and apparently it’s going to take a miracle of physics to fit it back down again. The pool, after four weeks of daily maintenance, is almost swimmable, and we have a lamp in the dining room now. Yay. A lamp. Renovations have all but stalled out because of unforeseen financial emergencies, but Mr. Gorilla and I haven’t killed each other yet!
So, I come humbly back to you, my dear readers, hoping you have stuck with me. I hated disappointing you all those days, and I’m so happy to be back! I cannot guarantee that I’ll post every single day, because you never know when the gas line will explode, or the roof will fall in, or whatever. But I will post as often as possible, I promise!
Today’s post is about the Daring Bakers April Challenge – Steamed Pudding! I’ve never been a fan of English food, but this was very good! Mr. Gorilla is a huge Anglophile, so I kind of made it for him, not expecting to like it, but I did. So did Penny. She is, after all, English.
So, we had free reign over fillings, so I took a savory turn and made it for dinner. It takes awhile to steam, and the setup is complicated, but it’s worth it. Good rainy day comfort food.
he April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet. I did not use suet. I used Crisco. Suet is gross, and the thought of it makes me blart. So there. It turned out fine.
Steak and Guinness Pudding
1 1/2 pounds steak
2 cups finely sliced onion
1/3 cup flour
salt, pepper, parsley
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 bottle Guinness
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 cup Crisco
a few tablespoons of water
Cut the steak into small cubes, and toss with the 1/3 cup of flour, salt, pepper, and parsley to taste. Add the onions and toss. Add the Worcestershire sauce and toss. Finally, add the Guinness and toss. Let it sit and marinate while you make the crust.
Okay, this takes some prep. Find a heatproof bowl that’s big enough to hold all the steak, but small enough to fit in your biggest pot. I know. Now crumple up some foil, lay it in the center of the pot, and set the bowl on top. Still fit? Good, go with that one. Don’t worry, it gets even more complicated in a minute.
Combine the 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Cut in the Crisco until the mixture is mealy, and drip in enough water to form the dough into a ball. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, knead once or twice until smooth. Set aside about 1/4 of the dough – that will be the lid. Roll the rest out into a circle big enough to line your bowl, and lay it in. Easier said than done. Pinch and seal any rips.
Add the steak and stuff to the bowl, liquid and all. Make sure the edges of the crust come well past the top of the liquid.
Roll out the reserved dough to form a disc large enough to cover the bowl. Lay it on like the top crust of a pie, and fold the edges of the bottom crust over. Press to seal, dabbing with water if necessary. Pretty? Pretty.
Now. Cover the bowl with foil, pleating the center to allow for expansion. Using twine, yes, twine, tie the foil down tightly over the foil, under the edge of the bowl. You want a steam-proof seal. Make a handle out of the twine, and tie it like an X across the top. Phew. Crack open another Guinness for yourself.
Place the bowl on top of the balled-up foil in the pot, and add water to the pot so it comes up no higher than 2/3 the height of the bowl. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a slow simmer, and let steam for four or five hours. WHAT? Yes, it takes that long. And you have to keep adding water, too, or else it boils away. I know. Check it every once in a while, and when the crust is nice and golden, it’s done.
To serve, gently unmold on a large plate, and slice like a cake. A wet, sloppy cake. A word of warning – my crust came out waaaay too thin and delicate to unmold, so I just served it like a casserole. It’s so juicy, you don’t even need an extra gravy. Yum.