COST: Approx. 60p to 75p per 140g pudding, depending on where bought
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per 100g):
Water, wheat flour, beef kidney, pork lard, beef fat, beef meat, pork meat, beef stock, onion, salt, autolysed protein, colour (E150c), raising agent (E500), pepper
These strange little puddings have been around for as long as I can remember, and bring back lots of childhood memories for me, as they were a regular item on our family dinner table when my mum didn't have the time to make her own. Apart from myself and a friend who in the normal way hated these puddings, but craved them with fervour during her pregnancy many years ago, I've never met anybody who likes them, so I am rather surprised they are still being sold.
Goblin Steak & Kidney puddings are to be found in the tinned meats section of most supermarkets and corner shops. They come in a small, pudding-basin shaped metal container that is coloured a dark royal blue. On the front of the tin is the Goblin logo in white letters on a red banner, and underneath there is a white section containing the words "pudding, steak & kidney" in black lettering. This panel gives the impression of standing on a plate above a serving of steak & kidney pudding with mash and mixed vegetables. To the left of that sign, printed in white and yellow, is a little square informing that the pudding can be microwaved in 90 seconds. The back of the can contains all the ingredients, nutritional information and cooking instructions - both for boiling and microwaving. There is a white lid on the can showing the product's barcode, plus a warning to cover the top with a cloth whilst opening, and another warning to not let the water in the saucepan dry up whilst boiling the pudding.
I don't, despite rather liking them, eat these puddings too often - but when I do, I never 100% obey the manufacturer's cooking instructions. It is recommended on the can that you partially open the lid, then stand the can in simmering water for 20 minutes. I always completely remove the lid, press it lightly back onto the pudding, then cook - this saves having to mess about with the tin opener when serving. I merely flip the lid off with a knife, then tip the pudding onto my plate.
Once the pudding is ready to serve and on removing the lid, there is a slightly beefy smell which is quite appetising. The appearance of the top of the pudding whilst it's still in the can is a little like a marble cake - it looks as though it has a wodge of chocolate in the middle, but this is the meat in gravy which has soaked through the suet-crust pastry. The way to get the pudding onto the plate is to tip the can upside down (of course having the plate underneath it first!!!) - sometimes it'll slide out easily, but other times you will need to gently lever it out with a palate knife. They always come out easily though and I've never had one stick to the sides of the tin yet or had to spend ages gouging bits of pudding from the sides of the can.
Well....they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and when it comes to eating this particular pudding, I have no problems.
The suet crust is rather dull in colour, and if you cut into it to reveal the meat inside, you will see it forms a solid mush....almost like mince....which until you begin to eat it, retains the shape of the pudding container - but it has a very good smell. Whatever gravy is inside of the meat mass isn't liquid; it's more of a moistening agent for the meat.
The meat mass is incredibly tasty, though the meat particles are even finer than most mince you'd buy in a supermarket or from a butchers. The gravy has a lovely, subtle meaty flavour, and the whole meat/gravy splodge (that's the best word I can think of to describe it) is truly delicious.......OK it may not look too great, but it tastes much better than first appearances suggest. The meat blends well with the pudding crust too. The pudding crust isn't quite as authentic as most people would like it to be, as it is a little chewy - it's also quite thin, and could do with being moister than it is. All the same though, it tastes good, especially when eaten in combination with the meat.
These little puddings are very small, and in my opinion one isn't really enough for a single serving - I usually have two for myself, but they are very cheap so it wouldn't break the bank if you find you need more than one to satisfy your appetite. They go very well with mashed potatoes, peas and carrots - or any vegetables of your choice, and make a nice, warming meal for a winter's evening.
For those of you who don't necessarily have to have the cream of the crop to be satisfied with life, I'm sure you will like these little puddings - they make a good meal, and though they bear almost no resemblance to a home-made steak & kidney pudding, they are perfectly acceptable as an item as they stand. I don't think we can expect absolute perfection for the very cheap price.
One disadvantage - frighteningly high in fat!
I haven't mentioned anything above about microwaving these puddings, as I've not yet tried cooking them that way - I've only ever boiled them.
I love them! Do you??
Thanks for reading.