As a child I remember my mother making all sorts of puddings with suet. Most of these were sweet and served with custard. However, this recipe is for a savoury pudding to serve with steak and kidney stew or mince. It is a type of dumpling.
Put flour into a bowl, rub in butter and mix in the suet.
Add the finely chopped, raw leeks.
Slowly add water and mix together to form a light dough that just holds together.
Traditionally this is then placed in a pudding basin and covered with grease proof paper. A muslin cloth is then placed over the basin and tied firmly with string around under the lip of the basin. The basin is then placed in a saucepan filled with water, bring to the boil, then simmer for 2 hours. Ensure that the water when boiling, does not overflow into the basin. Keep checking the level of the water, topping up when necessary.
An alternative to mixing the leeks into the pudding is to make the suet pastry without the leeks, use the pastry to line the basin, place the leeks in the centre and place more suet pastry on top to form a lid.
Some families did not cook their pudding in a basin but wrapped the whole pudding in a muslin cloth, allowing space for expansion and cooked it in a pan of water.
A modern alternative is to make individual leek puddings. The mixture will make 4 to 6. Use ramekins or mini-pudding basins. These only take about 30 minutes to cook.
Why not invite friends round for supper and produce a traditional Northumbrian meal with individual puddings.
Our latest monthly column bringing you traditional Northumbrian dishes that you can make at home for all of the family.