Steak and kidney pudding

ISBN (identifier) Trifle Isabella Beeton
Steak and kidney pudding
Steak and Kidney Pudding.jpg
A small steak and kidney pudding, served with mashed potatoes and other vegetables
Place of originEngland
Main ingredients

Steak and kidney pudding is a traditional British main course in which stewed beef steak and ox kidney is enclosed in suet pastry and slow steamed on a stove top.


An early mention of steak and kidney pudding appears in Bell's New Weekly Messenger on 11 August 1839 when the writer says:

Hardbake, brandy-balls, and syllabubs have given way to "baked-tates" and "trotters;" and the olden piemen are set aside for the Blackfriars-bridge howl of "Hot beef-steak and kidney puddings!"[1]

The first recipe for steak and kidney pudding to appear in print came from Sussex, in a book by Mrs Beeton published by Ward, Lock and Tyler in 1861.[2][3][4] The dish is not markedly older than published recipes of the 19th century.[5][6]

Suet pastry is used to line a bowl into which the steak and kidney mix is placed with onions, stock, etc. A suet pastry lid is then placed on top and sealed tightly. The top is then covered with muslin cloth which is tied round the bowl. This is placed in a covered saucepan and steamed for about four hours or until the pudding is cooked. Some recipes then stipulate making a small opening in the top and pouring rich stock into the pudding ten minutes before serving.


In the slang of the British Armed Forces and some parts of North West England, the puddings are called "babies' heads".[7]

See also


  1. ^ "What is doing in London?". Bell’s New Weekly Messenger. England. 11 August 1839. Retrieved 19 March 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  2. ^ Cloake, Felicity (1 March 2012). "How to cook the perfect steak and kidney pudding". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  3. ^ Beeton, Isabella (1861). The Book of Household Management. London: Ward, Lock and Tyler. pp. 281–282. kidney.
  4. ^ Fulton, Margaret (2007). Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery: The Complete Kitchen Companion from A-Z. London: Apple Press. p. 506. ISBN 1-84543-229-0.
  5. ^ Grigson, Jane (1974). English Food (1979 ed.). MacMillan London Limited. p. 228. ISBN 0 333 26866 0.
  6. ^ Hyslop, Leah (2013). "Potted Histories: Steak and Kidney Pudding". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  7. ^ Seal, Graham; Blake, Lloyd (2013). Century of Silent Service. Salisbury, Queensland: Boolarong Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-922-10989-7.