For the pastry:
- 450g/1lb self-raising flour.
- 225g/8oz shredded beef suet.
For the filling:
- 1 tbsp each butter and vegetable oil, plus extra oil.
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced.
- 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced.
- 4 large field mushrooms, stems removed.
- 500g/1lb 2oz venison shoulder, cut into Â¾ in/2cm cubes, trimmed of sinew.
- 1 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper.
- 1 tsp tomato puree.
- 200ml/7fl oz brown ale.
- 1tsp sugar.
- 4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked.
- First make a pastry.
- Sift 1 tsp salt and flour together and stir in the suet.
- Add 300ml cold water and work until it all comes together into dough.
- Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hr.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan.
- Gently fry the onions and garlic for 10 mins until soft.
- Tip out of the pan, then add a little more oil.
- Now fry the mushrooms until golden, then tip out.
- Toss the venison in the flour and fry in batches, adding more oil as you go, until really golden brown.
- Mix the puree, ale, sugar and thyme into the pan, then cool.
- Now butter a 2Â½ pt/1.4 litre basin.
- Roll the suet pastry out to about 1cm thick and use to line the sides of the basin.
- Trim so that thereâ€™s a little overhang.
- Re-roll whatâ€™s left and cut out a lid thatâ€™s about 1cm wider than the top of the basin.
- Put the mushrooms around the sides of the basin, stalks facing in, then fill the basin with meat and juices.
- You might not need all the juices.
- Place the lid on top and crimp the edges together to seal.
- Make a double layer of buttered foil and baking paper and pleat it in the centre.
- Scrunch this over the pudding, foil-side up, then tie with string under the rim of the basin.
- Trim to about 2cm under the string, then put into a steamer or sit on a saucer in a large pan containing enough gently simmering water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl.
- Steam the pudding for 4 hours.
- Unwrap and turn out onto a big plate.
- Serve with broccoli or cauliflower cheese.