Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Figgy Duff and British Bulldog Puddings

 The 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.
We've have quite a few challenges in a row now that I've been pretty excited about on Baker's and Cook's....and this one is no exception.  I love steamed puddings, sticky puddings etc.....LOVE THEM ALL!  My family was not one to make steamed puddings although I believe my great grandmother on my fathers paternal side did make them.  I think this because my dad has had steamed plum pudding somewhere and it is certainly not made by a living relative.  So I suspect it's on the French Canadian side of the family...........
 My first exposure to a steamed pudding was at Christmas time with my in-laws.  My SIL makes the most delicious carrot pudding (steam right in a canning jar) and serves it with her grandmothers recipe for hard sauce.  Absolutely delicious....nothing more I can say about that one.  So when the challenge gave us the option of making our own steamed pudding recipe that is the recipe that first came to my mind.  We were to give a try at making suet pudding though (the carrot pudding recipe does not) so I continued to research.  In the end I decided to try British Bulldog (layers of suet pastry and stewed beef) and for dessert......a Canadian twist on Spotted Dick.......called Figgy Duff.  The Figgy Duff is a steamed pudding although it doesn't contain suet........well at least I'm trying something new!  If nothing else I was excited at the prospect of using some just gorgeous pudding bowls.  If you'd like to give it a try......here is the recipes I used. for the beef steak pudding.......the Figgy Duff recipe is from this site and I made individual servings of a 1/2 recipe.
 What did I think???  I really liked the British Bulldog recipe.  The pastry has baking powder  (recipe calls for self raising flour) in it and during the steaming it puffs up like a light and flaky biscuit, and I really liked the stew recipe, so for me it was all good.  With all the suet in it....it is rich though.  The Figgy Duff had a great texture and I will try it again, but will look for a recipe with less molasses in it.  It was quite overpowering in this one.....especially when served with a custard sauce.

British Bulldog
12 oz flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
6 oz beef suet, crumbled
1 cup cold water (as much as you need to pull together a soft dough)
Place dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Add 1/2 of the water and then gradually any extra needed to form a workable dough.  I added nearly all of it.  Do not over work the dough.  Wrap in plastic wrap and set in the fridge until ready. (I left mine in over night)

1 12/ lbs chuck steak or roast cut into small pieces
1 large onion chopped
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 cup dark beer or (1 cup light beer with 1 tbsp molasses)
1 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 cups beef broth
Chop meat into small bit sized pieces and blot very well with paper towels.  Season with salt and pepper and let sit while you assemble your ingredients.  Add 1 tbsp oil to pan and brown the meat in 3 batches slowly over medium high heat so as not to crowd the pan.  Each batch should take about  minutes to brown.  Remove browned beef to side plate and repeat until all batches are browned. Put chopped onions in the pan and over medium heat cook until translucent.  Sprinkle flour over onions and stir to coat.  Add tomato paste and cook  3-4 more minutes making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan and reduce heat if it starts to burn.  Add beer stirring to mix well.  Add beef broth and remaining ingredients including the beef back to the pot.  Cover partially with lid and reduce heat to keep a light simmer for 2 hours.  Set aside to cool before assembling with pastry.


s said...

nice to see a different recipe..great going with the challange

Amy Lucille said...

Great job and I love the names of your puddings, well done.

Lori said...

Both of them sound really wonderful! Nice job!

Mary said...

You did a fabulous job on the challenge. I really love the fanciful names of the puddings you selected. They look and sound wonderful. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Aparna said...

What interesting names for the puddings. You've done a great job on them.

LittleRed said...

thanks everyone:) I really enjoyed this challenge and will definitely be trying them again:)

Felicity said...

Little Red- I gave you the Sunshine award. Details on my blog. : )

LittleRed said...

How nice is that?? Thank you:)