I had been parceling up some beef suet to send off to someone and it hit me straight away, it was cold and damp out so PING, it hit me like a shot, a nice game pudding.
You will require some diced game, anything will do, hare, rabbit, venison, wild boar, pheasant, partridge, pigeon, as it doesn't have to be pretty or young and it is going to be steamed long and slow, this is a perfect dish for broken and game past its prime. In fact older game has a much deeper (stronger) taste.
1 pheasant deboned and diced
1 hare deboned and diced
(use the bones for the stock)
salt and pepper
1/2 glass of red wine
1/2 glass of port
1 large onion sliced
100g of sliced mushrooms
50g of speck
For the stock:
game carcass or bones (anything you can lay your hands on)
a bunch of root vegetables
10 black pepper corns
5 crushed juniper berries
5 pimento (all spice) berries
1/2 a lemon
a couple of bay leaves
a spoonful of herb de Provence
For the suet pastry:
100g Beef suet
(you would normally use SR flour, but here in Germany you cannot get it)
so add 1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 tea spoon of salt
1 tea spoon of dried ground rosemary
150ml cold water
debone your pheasant and hare (or any other game that you are able to lay your hands on), remove any shot, feathers, bone or fur that has been carried into the carcass with the shot.
Dice and mix with the game spices and a desert spoon of flour, add the red wine and port. Set to one side to marinate (overnight in a cool fridge if you have the time).
Fry the speck. onions and mushrooms until all the liquid has dissipated, set to one side to cool.
Next make your pastry.
Mix all the dry ingredients together add the water slowly, it should be firm and not sticky, flour your work surface and roll out into a circle, cut out 1/4 (this will roll out for the lid). push the other piece into the pudding basin and join the slit side together with a little water and pressing it it. Leave the sides higher than the basin sides. Starting with a layer of game, then a layer of onion mushroom mixture, then a layer of game etc, etc. salt, pepper and season after each game layer adding a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce. When the basin is packed full, top up with some of the game stock. Roll out the top, place it inside of the outer pastry and need the seam together (it doesn't have to be pretty) cut out a piece of grease proof paper, butter one side and lay that on the top.Take a piece of aluminium foil, fold a pleat in it and place it over the grease proof paper tying it in place around the pudding basin rim with kitchen string. place the whole lot into a muslin cloth and tie at the top.
Put this into a double boiler, steamer or a pan with a tivit on the bottom. Steam for at least 4 hours, mine was done for 5. keep topping up with boiling water. A tip that I learned from my mother, put a glass mable into the pan, if the water gets too low it starts to jump about making quite a din, you know it is time to top up with water.
Cut it open and enjoy the rich aromas as they rise from the pud.
Serve with red cabbage, potato dumplings and Brussels sprouts, I made extra gravy using the game stock for serving with the pud and pouring over the dumplings (dumplings with game gravy are great all by themselves).
Cheers and not a bad Sunday lunch with the left overs from last years Christmas hunt