You may be wondering where in the world I managed to find pig kidneys for sale- it was at a local butcher shop. When I think of the term pudding, I think of two things:
I combined the two to get this recipe. Be forewarned, though: this is a pretty detailed(read: complicated) recipe- not only do you have to clean the pig kidneys(which reminded me of the dissections I never had to do in my high school biology class), you also have to brown the meat, make a sauce, AND create the pastry for the pudding!
This seriously should be a final exam for students in a culinary program, since this recipe requires you to use many varied cooking techniques.
You probably should allocate 6 hours of your precious time to make this recipe.
My dad refused to try this recipe, but not for the reason you think: it's because I used cooking wine in the sauce and he had a bad experience at a restaurant once while on a date- the dish he ordered(I think it was veal Marsala) had wine in it and the chef put too much of it in the dish so it made him almost drunk and the girl ended up dumping him!
But my dad also thought the smell of the pig kidneys was foul! It wasn't to me, but that smell leads me to my next point: you have to thoroughly clean the kidneys if you don't want the taste of urine in your mouth! Remember, these kidneys used to process urine in pigs! Seriously, nothing fazes me anymore when it comes to bizarre food.
Like most offal you find at a butcher shop or supermarket, it's cheap. The 4 kidneys I bought cost only $2 in total! But when you read this recipe, you'll see it says to use 3 pig kidneys instead of 4. That's because I was planning on pan-frying the 4th kidney but it got pretty late(like 10 pm late) by the time the pudding was done steaming!
Now I know why the British only make these types of puddings around holidays- it's long and hard(if you're thinking what I'm thinking as I'm typing this, please get your head out of the gutter! Humanity thanks you!)!
This dish is based off the traditional British dish known as Steak and Kidney Pudding, which uses steak instead of lamb shoulder. Traditionally, you turn the pudding basin upside down when the pudding is done steaming but I only did that when I had leftover pudding a couple of days later- it held its shape somewhat. But in the video, I had my pudding upside down, eating from the pudding basin.
Since I live in North America, I can't find suet(read: the raw fat off a cow's kidney) even at a local butcher shop, so I had to order vegetable suet online(see helpful link in the recipe), which strangely enough, looks like shredded mozzarella cheese!
It was a tasty dish and if given the choice between eating kidney and liver, I'd always eat the former because at least kidneys don't taste like blood and iron!
Vegetable Suet: https://www.amazon.com/Atora-Shredded-Vegetable-Suet-200g/dp/B0170E6S9A/ref=sr_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1469985755&sr=8-2&
Pudding Basin: https://www.amazon.com/Mason-Cash-Forest-Steam-British/dp/B00LB9I0RY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1469985812&sr=8-2&
Estimated total time: over 6 hours
Makes 3 servings
You will need:
For the cooking equipment:
Gloves to protect your hands from smelling like urine
A large bowl
A frying pan
A medium bowl
A medium saucepot
A rolling pin
A pudding basin(see HELPFUL LINK)
Nonstick cooking spray
A large saucepot
2 oven mitts
A baking tray
For the pudding:
3 pig kidneys
Water to clean the pig kidneys in
1.1 pounds of lamb shoulder
Olive oil for sautéing and browning
1 chopped up onion
1 tbsp. of parsley
1 tbsp. of all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
5 oz. of red cooking wine
5 oz. of beef stock
Salt and black pepper to taste(for the sauce)
10 oz. of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of salt
1 tbsp. of parsley
4.5 oz. of vegetable suet(see HELPFUL LINK)
8 oz. of water for the pastry
1 s'mores or chocolate pudding cup
To Clean the Kidneys
1. Put gloves on to protect your hands and cut the kidneys in half horizontally. If you get them from a butcher, they should already be cut somewhat enough for you to see the pink stuff inside the kidney.
2. Cut the white stuff and pink stuff that's inside the kidneys using kitchen shears. The white stuff and pink stuff make the kidneys smell like urine. Steps 1 and 2 should about 15 minutes per kidney.
3. Clean the dirt and impurities out of the kidneys by putting them in a large bowl and submerging them with water in the bowl. Salt the water. The water should turn red initially. Let the kidneys soak in the salted water and change the water every 30 minutes until the water is clear(I had to change the water just once- another hour down the drain).
Preparing the Meat
4. Separate the meat and fat from the lamb shoulder using kitchen shears(but please clean the kitchen shears first!) and cut the lamb shoulder into pieces.
5. Pour olive oil onto a frying pan and spread the oil around the pan. Turn the stove on to heat the oil up.
6. Once the oil is heated up, saute the chopped up onion and garlic powder until the onion is translucent in color. Put the sauteed onions into a medium bowl.
7. After cleaning your large bowl, put 1 tbsp. of parsley, 1 tbsp. of all-purpose flour, salt, and black pepper into the large bowl. Mix all the ingredients together.
8. Coat the lamb shoulder and pig kidneys in the flour mixture in the large bowl.
9. Pour a little bit more olive oil into the frying pan and spread it around the pan once again. Turn the stove on to heat the oil up.
10. Once the oil is heated up, brown the lamb shoulder and pig kidneys using a spatula until they're no longer pink or red in color.
Making the Sauce
11. Pour the red cooking wine into a medium saucepot. Bring the wine to a boil. Let the wine reduce for 2-3 minutes by continuing to let the wine boil.
12. After the wine has reduced, add the beef stock and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste in the sauce just before the sauce is done simmering.
Making the pastry
13. After cleaning your medium bowl and putting the sauteed onions into a smaller bowl, mix 10 ounces of flour, 1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. of salt in the medium bowl to get a self-rising flour.
14. Add 1 tbsp. of parsley, salt, black pepper, and the vegetable suet to the flour mixture. While mixing all the ingredients together, slowly pour in 8 ounces of water. You want the dough to be slightly sticky. If the dough looks liquidy, add more flour.
15. Flour a clean surface like a kitchen countertop. Put the dough onto the floured surface.
16. Cut 1/4 of the dough and set it to the side. This will be the lid for the pudding.
17. Flatten the remaining dough using a rolling pin. Ideally, you want the dough to be circular.
18. Spray the inside of the pudding basin with nonstick cooking spray. Line the inside of the basin with the circular dough you just flattened.
19. Put the onions, kidneys, lamb shoulder, sauce, and s'mores or chocolate pudding into the lined basin. The basin I used was pretty small, so I only included a little bit of kidneys and more of the lamb shoulder, in addition to the sauce, s'mores or chocolate pudding, and onions.
20. Cover the basin with the dough you set aside.
Steaming the pudding
21. Cover the basin with aluminum foil and cut off the excess foil.
22. Put the basin into a saucepot that's larger than the pudding basin. Pour water halfway up the outside of the basin.
23. Bring the water to a boil and cover the saucepot with its lid.
24. Once the water's boiling, let the pudding steam for 2-2 1/2 hours. Steaming the pudding means leaving the basin in boiling water and the water level will go down as it's boiling, so check the water level every 10-15 minutes. If the water level is too low, add more water.
25. Remove the basin from the saucepot using 2 oven mitts and put the basin onto a baking tray. At this point, you can let the pudding cool down a little bit and eat it out of the basin or you can turn the pudding basin upside down if you feel your pastry held up.
26. Either way you eat it, bon appetit!