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Cooking British classics: Oxtail pudding recipe

A suet pudding crammed full of flaky oxtail and guinness gravy

1y ago

A savoury pudding for a main course is a very British thing and sounds kind of weird to everyone else in the world but have no doubt, it is a very delicious thing indeed. This one is simply full of oxtail and gravy but the most notable known pudding is steak and kidney.

Suet is the fat around the kidneys and it is mixed with self raising flour at a ratio of one part suet to two parts flour to make the pastry. The pudding bowls are then lined with pastry before filling with the meat and gravy and then topped and sealed with a pastry disc. To finish the cooking the puddings are then steamed for half an hour before serving. For a bit of visual stimulation I like to inject more gravy in the top of the pudding so it overflows like in the picture.

I served this pudding with some vichy-style vegetables and Amanda M's delicious potatoes gratin.

Oxtail Pudding

Slow braised oxtail in guinness gravy encased in a suet pastry

Prep time2h
Cook time3h 30min
Total time5h 30min


  • 1.6kg Oxtail
  • 2x Large onions, sliced
  • 2x Carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 200g Chestnut mushrooms
  • 1x Can of Guinness
  • 1x Can of water (just fill up the empty Guinness can)
  • 4x Garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1x Bay leaf
  • 1x Thyme sprig
  • 1x Rosemary sprig
  • 1x Star anise
  • 1x Beef stock cube
  • 2tbsp Tomato puree
  • 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 140g Atora suet
  • 280g Self raising flour
  • 5g Salt
  • 160ml Cold water
  • Parchment paper
  • Elastic bands


  1. Lets make the pastry by mixing the suet, flour, salt and water together and work into a dough. The water isn't a precise measurement so add it slowly until you have a nice ball of dough. Stick it in the fridge covered up.
  2. Season the oxtail well then in a frying pan place them fat sides down. When the fat has been released turn them and brown on all sides then transfer to a casserole dish.
  3. Into the casserole dish goes the stock cube, mushrooms, bay, thyme, rosemary, star anise, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Now fry the onions and carrots in the beef fat for 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree and garlic and continue cooking and stirring for a few more minutes. Pour in the Guinness, bring to a simmer, then transfer all to the casserole dish.
  5. Deglaze the pan with the can of water, bring to a simmer and pour into the casserole dish.
  6. Put the casserole in the oven on gas mark 2 (150C/300F) for about 3 hours.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Pick all the meat out and discard the veg and bones by sieving the cooking gravy into a jug. Let the gravy cool so all the fat rises to the top and skim it off.
  8. For each pudding roll out about 120g of the suet dough into a circle and line the pudding mould. Fill the mould with meat and gravy, pack it in there so it is almost bursting, then trim the pastry edges and roll that out into a circle. Brush the rim of the pud pastry with water and put the circle on as a lid, trim and press down the edges then top with parchment paper secured with an elastic band.
  9. Pop the puddings in a pan of water where the water comes half way up the moulds. Put the pan lid on and steam for 30 minutes.
  10. Heat your remaining gravy gently in a saucepan.
  11. When the puddings are done gently ease them out of the moulds on to plates. You can use a flavour injector to inject more gravy into them or just pour more over them and tuck in!

Recipe by

Adapted from a recipe by Heston Blumenthal

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Comments (12)

  • I want to give this one a double like!! Love it! 👍🏻

      1 year ago
  • Might have to try this

      1 year ago
    • Please do give it a go. It is time consuming but you might have the time in the lockdown.

        1 year ago
  • That sounds wonderful!

      1 year ago
  • You should be on Masterchef .

      1 year ago
  • Never heard of this, will likely never see it on the menu in my local restaurants (even though I'm in the Commonwealth, lol), and now I kind of have to try it...

      1 year ago
    • It is a labour of love but certainly worth it. Please let me know if you try it, I hope you like it, I'm certain you will.

        1 year ago