COMPARED with the (possibly Guinness-fuelled) way the Irish celebrate St Patrick’s Day, our English Patron Saint seems to play things very low key.

St George’s Day on April 23 lends itself to the celebration of all things English, which, in my book, means traditional English grub. Steak and kidney pudding is not my normal seasonal recommendation for April, but with the recent changeable weather, you have to be ready for anything.

There is also an option to tell the children it is made from dragon rather than beef and for non-offal eaters, you could substitute St George mushrooms for the ox kidney to keep with the theme.

In any case, it is a good opportunity to use one of the excellent ales from our local breweries: the Great Yorkshire Brewery in Cropton, Helmsley Brewery, Brass Castle in Malton to name just a few (or from a little further afield, but for added authenticity one of the Copper Dragon brews).

We have offered a matched wines package to complement our seven-course tasting menu for years, but with so many producers of ales and ciders on our doorstep, we now offer an alternative package of matched ales and ciders, many of them local. I would recommend matching the steak and kidney pudding AKA "Dragon Pie" with more of the same local stout as you choose to use in the pudding itself.

My second recipe is a twist on a traditional tearoom classic updated with a golden raisin purée and boozy prune ice cream, but retaining good, old-fashioned flavours. Try it with a light pale ale, such as "our own" Two Chefs Honey Beer with Lemon Thyme from the Great Yorkshire Brewery.

To Harry, England and St George! Cheers!

Steamed Steak and Kidney Suet Pudding with Local Stout and Onion Juices, Deep-fried Lindisfarne Oysters (serves six)


225g ox kidney, skinned and cored

675g chuck/shoulder steak, diced

500ml beef stock

500ml local stout

50g beef dripping

1 tsp thyme leaves

10ml Worcestershire Sauce (good splash)

100g celery, finely chopped

225g onion, finely chopped

Seasoned flour

6 Lindisfarne oysters

200ml veal stock

20 grelot onions, peeled and roasted

1 egg

15g flat leaf parsley, chopped

For the pastry

125g suet, minced, from kidney fat

½ tsp thyme leaves

250g plain flour

140ml water


For the batter

100g cornflour

Pinch of baking soda

5m malt vinegar

100ml Hambleton stout

Splash of water

Pinch of salt


Cut the beef and kidney into 2cm cubes, toss in the seasoned flour until lightly coated. Fry the onions and celery in a heavy-based saucepan until golden brown, add the meat and brown lightly, then add the beef stock and 250ml stout, season and bring to the boil, then set aside to cool.

To make the pastry, mix all the ingredients together while adding the water to give a stiff, but pliable consistency. Line six 180ml dariole moulds with the pastry and also roll out six lids, spoon the steak and kidney mix into the suet moulds, egg wash the edges. Place the lid over the top and seal using the back of a fork. Trim off any excess. Place into an ovenproof dish with about 4cm of water in the bottom, cover with greaseproof paper, then tin foil and seal tightly. Place in a pre-heated oven at 140°C for 2 to 2½ hours.

To serve, warm the veal stock, add 50ml of stout and reduce back to 200ml and add the roasted grelot onions. Make the batter by mixing all of the ingredients together, open the oysters and coat in seasoned flour, dip in the batter and fry at 180°C for about a minute. Turn out the pudding onto the plate, add the chopped flat leaf parsley, coat the pudding with the sauce and place some roasted onions around the outside. Place one deep-fried oyster on top of each pudding. Serve with a shot glass of the remaining stout.


My second recipe is a twist on the traditional Yorkshire teatime classic with the addition of golden raisin purée and boozy prune ice cream to make it more of a dessert. The flavours are lovely and old-fashioned and it is extra special if you serve it slightly warm to give a nice contrast with the ice cream.

Warm Yorkshire Curd Tartlette with Boozy Prune Ice Cream, Golden Raisin Purée (serves four)


Curd mixture:

90g soft brown sugar

5g All Spice

3 eggs, beaten

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

40g melted butter

450g curd

75g raisins


225g plain flour

115g diced butter

1 egg yolk

15-30ml chilled water

To serve (optional):

A few raspberries/a little raspberry purée

A few mint sprigs


Combine all curd mixture ingredients together in a mixer for about 10 minutes, then set aside.

For the pastry, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and mix to a soft dough. Add water, if necessary. Roll pastry out and line 4 x 10cm tartlette cases, make sure your tins have been greased or they are non-stick. Chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Remove from fridge, fill each case with the curd mixture and bake in a moderate oven at 190°C/Gas Mark 5 for approx 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Boozy Prune Ice Cream


100g pitted prunes

200ml brandy

60g sugar

8 egg yolks

150g caster sugar

300ml cream


Heat brandy up in a pan with the sugar and allow the sugar to melt. Pour over the pitted prunes and leave them in the fridge overnight to marinate. Remove the prunes the next day and allow to drain a little. To make the custard, heat the cream up in a saucepan. Beat the yolks and the sugar together. When the cream is warm, pour a little over the yolks and stir well. Pour the yolk mixture back into the cream, then strain.

Chop the prunes and add them to the custard. Pour into an ice-cream machine and churn until ready. NB: The prunes can be stored in the brandy in an airtight jar to improve and maximize the flavour.

Purée of Golden Raisins


500g golden raisins

100ml Verjuice or grape juice

50ml mead

150g sugar


Place all ingredients into a saucepan and allow to simmer until the liquid takes on a syrupy consistency. Strain off the liquid and retain. Purée the raisins until smooth. If the mixture is too dry, add back the liquid saved from cooking to achieve the required consistency.

Serve slightly warm to give a nice contrast with the ice cream. Place the tartlet in the centre of the plate with a generous spoonful of the purée on the top. Serve with a scoop of the ice cream. If wished, decorate the plate with raspberries and/or dots of raspberry purée and a little sprig of mint.