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Information about Beef Suet and its uses in cooking

 Featured Ingredient - England 



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Traditional suet is the dense fat which surrounds beef kidneys now very hard to obtain  in its natural form as many butchers no longer get the kidneys in tact.


Be that as it may, the type of suet most recipes call for is shredded (as shown in this picture). Suet is a traditional ingredient used for both sweet and savoury steamed puddings and is used in the making of mincemeat. It is also sometimes used to feed birds!



Because suet has a high melting point, it serves to keep the structure of pastries even after the dough has begun to set, leaving hundreds of tiny air holes. The result  is a light and smoothly textured pastry, whether baked or steamed. When butter or margarine is substituted for suet, the results are often much heavier and greasy.   Suet does not have any meaty taste it just  imparts a rich flavour, so is suitable for both savoury and sweet dishes.

Despite the propensity for "healthy eating" which is prevailing at the moment, suet is still readily available from many supermarkets (at least in England) although vegetarian varieties are also on sale.


Traditional English dishes which use this ingredient include


Steak and Kidney Pudding

Suet Dumplings

Roly Poly Puddings

Steamed Puddings

Spotted Dick

Christmas (Plum) Pudding


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You can find  lots recipes using beef suet on the England Cooking by Country page and throughout the site in various section.  To find them all just use the search form below.


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