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the Loir

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December 5, 2001 - Steak and Kidney Pudding

Across the broad waters of the Langeron River in the commune of Villavard, the last tribe of English holds tenaciously to the vendômois domain that Henry II and Richard the Lionhearted fought for nearly one thousand years ago. It is hard to call those Plantagenet Kings of England anything but French since they lived, fought and died in France. But it is not hard to call Clive Harrison an Englishman. Even though he has lived in France with his French wife, Denise, for 20 years, he still enjoys English cuisine. We were invited to enjoy that same cuisine last Saturday night. What could be more English than Steak and Kidney Pudding? When prepared in a French kitchen by a master French cook and served with a nine year-old Bordeaux, well, it is very, very English. Here is how to prepare it:

Preparation time--20 minutes
Cooking time--4 hours and 30 minutes


For the filling:
1 pound of skirt beef stewing steak
4 ounces of ox kidney
1 ounce of seasoned flour
1 onion, peeled and chopped

For the pastry:

8 ounces self-raising flour
1/2 level teaspoon salt
4 ounces of shredded suet
8 tablespoons of cold water


Cut steak in 1-inch cubes. Remove skin, core and fat from kidney then cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Coat the steak with seasoned flour.

Sieve flour and salt for pastry into a bowl. Stir in suet, and then add enough water to make fairly soft dough. Roll out two-thirds of pastry to a circle large enough to line a greased 2-pint pudding basin. roll out the remaining pastry to a circle the size of the top of the basin.

Put steak, kidney, and onion in alternate layers in basin, and then add sufficient water to come within 1-inch of the top of the basin. Moisten edges of pastry lid and press firmly on top. Cover with lid of greaseproof paper, and then cover with a lid of foil; both pleated to allow for expansion. Steam or boil the pudding for 4 1/2 hours, topping up with boiling water as necessary.

Serve with potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, fresh homemade butter from a local farm, French bread and numerous bottles of nine-year old Bordeaux. Follow with cheese, lardy cake, and French pressed coffee. Finally, finish with Denise's homemade sloe gin. I love the Fenglish.

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 November 28, 2001 - Pigs III
 November 21, 2001 - Pigs II
 November 14, 2001 - Pigs
 October 31, 2001 - The Ghost of Chateau Chevre
 October 25 - Battle of Poitiers
 August 22, 2001 - Confrerie
 August 15, 2001 - Liberation
 August 8, 2001 - Le Cyclop
 August 1, 2001 - The Finger
July 25, 2001 - La Resistance
July 18, 2001 - System D
July 11, 2001 - The Accident
July 4, 2001 - Ange Pitou
June 27, 2001 - Feu de Saint Jean
June 20, 2001 - Geoffroy Martel
June 13, 2001 - Saint of the Day
June 6, 2001 - Escapade dans le Berry
May 30, 2001 - Learning French
May 23, 2001 - Pete and Manny
May 16, 2001 - Les Journees des Aubepines
May 8, 2001 - Armistice Day
May 2, 2001 - May Day
April 25, 2001 - Les Manouches
April 18, 2001 - Trôo
April 11, 2001 - Le P'tit Jules
April 4, 2001 - Men and Their Caves 
Archive of Weekly Columns Jan-Apr 2001
Archive of Weekly Columns from 2000


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