Leek pudding is a savoury pudding which is traditionally made in North East England. A filling of leeks is hidden inside a pastry crust.
When you think of a pudding you most often think of a sweet dish like Newcastle pudding or St Stephens pudding. Puddings can be savoury as well. Steak and kidney pudding is a prime example. Whilst on the hunt for local North East recipes I kept coming across mentions of leek pudding. I had to find out more.
What is Leek Pudding?
Leek pudding is a suet based pudding and there seem to be two ways to make it. One way is to make a suet pastry and use it to encase leeks which have been tossed in melted butter. The pudding is then steamed until it is cooked.
The other way is to mix up the suet pastry and leeks in the bowl and gently steam until it is ready. Other variations include adding cheese or bacon into the pudding with the leeks to make a more substantial pudding. I chose to make a suet pastry and using it to enclose the leeks.
It is appropriate that leek pudding is a recipe from the North East. Leeks are often grown on allotments and a prize for the best leek is often a coveted award at village fairs. Leek growing can be a very serious business with the secrets for prize leeks handed down from generation to generation. Rivalry is intense. There are stories of leeks being destroyed and people sleeping on their allotments to guard their prized leeks from harm. A leek pudding is a fitting way to serve leeks, giving them a place of honour on the table. The little sign in the picture I won from Geordie Gifts who create unique gifts from the North East. It seemed appropriate to use it in the photo. It is fitting that leek pudding is also known as Geordie leek pudding or Northumberland leek pudding.
Read more: Traditonal North East recipe: Sly cakes
How to make leek pudding
To make the leek pudding first I needed to make the suet pastry. I mixed flour and suet with mustard and pepper to make it slightly spicy and to complement the leeks. When the pastry was the right consistency I rolled it out and used it to line a well greased pudding bowl. Remember to keep aside enough pastry to use for the top of the pudding.
I then chopped the leeks and tossed them in melted butter, adding them to the inside of the pastry. The remaining pasty was used to top the pudding. I covered the pudding basin with greaseproof paper and tin foil tied with string then steamed it in a boiled pan of water for a couple of hours. The pudding was then turned out onto a plate. It keep its shape and smelt delicious. When the leek pudding is cut the leeks come tumbling out, their delicate green colour a lovely contrast to the pastry. If you are not expecting them it is a surprise.
Leek pudding is a filling and satisfying dish and served with white sauce was the ideal accompaniment to a Sunday roast. It makes it look like you have made an extra effort to impress. Leek pudding should be better known, it is a great way to serve vegetables in a different way.
Leek Pudding Recipe
- 230 g 8 oz self raising flour
- 120 g 4 oz suet
- 1 tbsp mustard
- salt and pepper to season
- 500 g 18 oz leeks
- 100 g butter
- Grease a pudding basin
- Mix together the flour, suet and mustard.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add water a small amount at a time, mixing together until a dough is formed.
- Roll out the dough and use it to line the pudding basin, leaving enough to form a lid.
- Chop the leeks into small pieces.
- Melt the butter and toss the leeks in it.
- Add the leeks into the pudding basin and top with the rest of the dough.
- Cover the pudding basin with greaseproof paper and silver foil, tied with string.
- Place the basin into a bowl of water and bring to the boil.
- Cook for two hours, topping up the water from time to time.
- Turn out onto a plate.
Why not pin the recipe for later?