Christmas recipes from Chef Paul

These recipes are passed down from my mother and are the same ones that I currently use for my family. The puddings are made with untreated beef suet as one of the ingredients. This adds a depth of flavour that can’t be found when using a refined suet. Ask a good butcher to mince you some unrefined suet and you will be able to taste the difference when you enjoy these puddings.

The beauty of both these recipes is that they can be made ahead of time and then served on the day.

This recipe can make two larger puddings or 12-14 smaller individual puddings.

Ingredients:

450g raisins
450g currants
450g sultanas
225g white breadcrumbs
225g flour
60g mixed peel
225g brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
450g beef suet, minced
¼ tsp ground ginger
30g chopped nuts (optional)
6g salt
Pinch of ground nutmeg

3 eggs
40ml sherry
40ml brandy
Milk (to bind)
1 lemon, juice of

Unsalted butter, to grease basins

Method:

  • Take a large bowl and combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Beat the eggs and then stir these into the mixture along with the sherry, brandy and lemon juice.
  • Add just enough milk to take the mixture to a fairly stiff consistency.
  • Grease the pudding basins.
  • Spoon the mixture in and cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit over the top. Then cover the entire surface and slightly over all the sides with more greaseproof paper secured by an elastic band.
  • Steam in a pot of water for 8 hours, topping up the water level from time to time to make sure it does not boil dry.
  • Remove from pot, leave to cool and store in a cool place.
  • Re-boil/steam the pudding to re-heat for approx. 45­–50 mins according to size.
  • To flambé the puddings heat neat brandy in a saucepan, pour over puddings and light with a match. Flame will burn until all the alcohol has evaporated.
  • Serve with Brandy Butter and liquid cream or custard.

Brandy Butter

125g unsalted butter, (good quality and softened)
125g icing sugar
2 Tbsp boiling water
3 Tbsp brandy

Method:

  • Add the butter and the icing sugar to a bowl and cream together until they are well combined.
  • Beat in the boiling water and brandy, beat in until mixture is smooth.
  • Refrigerate until needed.