Steamed lamb pudding

Ingredients to serve 6-8:

500g diced lamb shoulder
Olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 sticks celery, diced
2 clove garlic, crushed
Half a bunch of thyme
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour
Half bottle red wine
Three quarter litre chicken stock
100ml water
A little butter, for greasing

For the suet pastry:

300g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
150g suet
Up to 140ml chilled water

You will need a 1.75 litre pudding bowl

Season the lamb and brown it in a little olive oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the vegetables, garlic and thyme and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and flour and stir well. Pour in the wine, let it bubble up and reduce by half. Cover with chicken stock and water, transfer to the oven and allow to braise for 1 and a half to 2 hours until tender, then take off the heat and leave to cool in the casserole.

To make the pastry, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Mix in the suet and stir in just enough water to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead quickly, then roll out. Cut out a circle about 30-35cm in diameter. Gather up the remaining dough, roll out again, and cut out a second circle the same size as the circumference of the bowl. This will be the lid. Grease the pudding basin with butter and lift the larger dough circle into it, pressing into the base and sides. Brush the top edge with water.

Spoon in the lamb, then pour over the sauce, checking that it is thick. If not, boil to reduce. Lay the dough lid over the top, seal and pinch the edges together, and then cover with a buttered disc of baking parchment. Wrap the pudding in foil, place in a bowl on a steamer rack in a saucepan and pour in enough boiling water to come three-quarters of the way up the basin. Cover and steam for 2 hours, adding more boiling water when the level goes down.

From 'The Clatter of Forks and Spoons' by Richard Corrigan (Fourth Estate, £25)

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