Recipe for Steamed Leek and Onion Suet Pudding
Savoury Steamed Puddings
This is another one of those traditional types of meals, not from South Africa, but rather from Wales.
A lot of Welsh, Cornish, Irish and Scots, not necessarily any order came and settled in South Africa, for various reasons, some of them to escape the tyranny of the English, others extreme poverty, when the crops failed, and the tennant farmers had to survive by eating grass and kelp, throughout icy cold winters.
The influx was during the 1820's and became part of the English speaking inhabitants of South Africa. They brought with them a wealth of cultures and great cullinary delights.
In the 1960's South Africa experienced another wave of European settlers from all over Europe, they brought their cultures, as well as more importantly, their culinary contribution to our already unique local food styles.
Onion and Leek Pudding
To make the pudding base you could visit the hub on the traditional steak and kidney pudding.
but it is always easier to read it all in one hub, so:-
300g of flour
60ml baking powder
Freshly ground white pepper
5ml dried thyme
150g chopped suet
25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
Prepare the suet pastry
Chop the suet very fine
Mix the all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, use your hands to lift and fold the suet evenly and thoroughly in the flour.
Make a well with a wooden spoon in the flour.
Add the lemon juice to the cold water
Pour some of the water into the flour and mix it well to make firm dough.
Use as little water as possible.
Once mixed dust your work surface with enough flour, and dust your rolling pin.
Make a sausage of the dough and cut off a quarter of it and place to one side.
Roll out the larger of the two dough balls into a large circle with the dough, make sure that is evenly thick.
Smear a 1 ½ litre pudding bowl with a bit of lard or butter.
Place the circle of dough into the bowl and press it firmly against the base and sides, allowing at least a 2 ½ cm overlap of dough over the bowl.
Roll the other sausage of dough into a circle that will fit over the top of the bowl.
1 chopped huge onion or a couple of the medium onions also chopped
Several leeks cut into slices
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon sage
The Assembly and cooking
Place a third of the chopped onions into the suet lined pudding bowl then cover with the slice leeks, then repeat with a second layer of onions followed by the leeks and to be sure, place another layer to finish off the onions and leeks. Add the salt and pepper to season, a good sprinkling of sage, and generous pats of butter.
Cover with the suet lid
Wet all the edges of the suet crust with water.
Place the lid on top of the onion leek mixture and press the edges of the over lap from the lined dough together firmly to make a seal.
There should still be a gap between the top of the dough and the rim of the bowl.
Cut some foil into a circle 5cm wider than the outer rim of the bowl.
Place on top of the bowl and tie it down with some string, make a string handle so that it can be moved easily in and out of the steamer.
Place a trivet into a pot wide enough to allow the pudding bowl in.
Bring the water to a boil
Lower the pudding into the pot
The water should come about two thirds of the way up the sides of the bowl, adjust with boiling water.
Cover and let boil for 2 hours.
Check the level of the water and always top up with boiling water
Make a good brown gravy with mushrooms and spring onions.
Serve with steamed vegetables.
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