Suet pastry

This pastry recipe is for a suet pastry and can be used to make great dishes such as steak and kidney pudding.

Suet pastry may not be used too widely today – it is the sort of pastry that earlier generations would have used to top their pies and for making steamed puddings such as steak and kidney or sweets such as jam roly poly.

Suet is a very hard fat that is found around the main organs of animals.  As it is so hard, it will not rub in to the flour as with butter, margarine or lard.  So we have to shred it finely then mix it with the flour.  You will find it in all shops in small packets already shredded and ready to use.

Suet pastry can be baked, such as topping a nice beef and ale pie; it can be steamed in such dishes as steak and kidney pudding; or even boiled.  Adding a touch more water to the mixture makes very nice dumplings.  You will find shredded suet in many recipes for Christmas puddings and in the mincemeat used for making mince pies with at that festive time of year.

Ingredients – as required | Preparation time 30 mins

  • 250g plain flour
  • 5g baking powder
  • 150g beef or vegetable suet, shredded
  • Approx. 125ml cold water
  • A good pinch salt


  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large clean bowl.  Add the shredded suet and mix together.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the bowl and add the water into the well.  Mix the flour etc. into the water until you form a nice, soft dough.
  3. Turn onto a floured work surface and kneed gently for a few minutes.  Cover the dough and allow to rest before using.

Suet pastry – hints and tips

If you wish to make the pastry sweet, add about 25g caster sugar to the water, making sure it is dissolved before adding to the flour.

Suet pastry is quite a soft dough and will stick to your hands.  It’s worth rubbing some flour between your hands to remove most of the sticky stuff before washing them!

Pastry making tips

We have put together some great tips for making perfect pastry every time, which includes information on the type of flour used and how you need to give the pastry time to rest!