"This is my take on the traditional steak and kidney pudding, using oxtail instead of steak," says Heston. "Oxtail is a tricky cut, full of connective tissue and fat, but when it is cooked in the right way, it produces a richer sauce and far more flavour than steak."






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (102 votes)


Braised oxtail

  • groundnut oil
  • 75 g sliced celery
  • 175 g leeks, washed and sliced
  • 175 g carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 200 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 300 g onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 star anise
  • 2.5 kg oxtail, jointed
  • 250 ml (1 cup) red wine
  • 100 ml brandy
  • 250 g tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 750 ml (3 cups) chicken stock
  • 750 ml (3 cups) beef stock



  • 1 veal kidney, cleaned and chopped into approximately 1 cm pieces


Suet pastry

  • 500 g self-raising flour
  • 250 g shredded suet
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 15 g baking powder
  • 300 ml ice-cold water
  • egg wash
  • butter and plain flour to line 6 x 150 ml pudding basins

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 1 hour

You will need a pressure cooker for this recipe.

Place a pressure cooker over medium heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom. Sweat the celery, leek and carrot for about 10 minutes or until soft. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Return the pan to the heat and add a bit more oil, cook the mushroom for approximately 10 minutes until caramelised. Set aside.

Place the pan back on the heat, add more oil and cook the onion and star anise. Cook for 10–15 minutes or until soft and caramelised. Add all of the cooked vegetables back in the pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes, remove from the pan.

Add a splash of water to deglaze the base of the pan. Add the liquid to the cooked vegetables.

To braise the oxtail, place a deep pan over a medium-high heat. Once smoking hot, add enough oil to coat the base of the pan and brown the oxtail, in batches if necessary.

Once the oxtail pieces are well browned, tip any excess fat out of the pan, return to the heat and deglaze by adding the red wine and brandy. Flame off the alcohol by setting fire to the fumes carefully with a match.

Once the flames have died, add the tomato, bay leaf, thyme, cooked vegetables as well as the browned oxtail, peppercorns and both chicken and beef stocks. Bring the pressure cooker to full pressure, reduce the heat and cook for 2 hours.

To make the pastry, mix the flour, suet, salt and baking powder together in a bowl. Sprinkle the ice-cold water over the mixture and, with clean hands, work into a smooth dough. Knead lightly and place in the fridge to rest for 10–15 minutes.

Divide the pastry into 6 x 100 g portions and roll out circles that are approximately 3 mm in thickness. Grease 6 x 150 ml capacity pudding basins with a little butter and line with the pastry circles.

After 2 hours, place the pressure cooker in a sink of iced water to cool completely before removing the lid. Once cool, remove the oxtails from the liquid and pick the meat from the bones. Strain and discard the vegetables and return the liquid to the pan. Place over a high heat to reduce by two-thirds or until a thick glaze is formed, removing any scum that comes to the surface with a ladle.

Remove the pan from the heat and save some sauce aside to pour over the pudding or inject just before serving. Add the picked meat, kidney pieces and some of the sauce and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir together before spooning into each pudding basin until they are full of meat.

With the remaining pastry, roll out lids to cover the basins (approximately 6 mm in thickness). Brush the edges with egg wash and press down firmly to seal, trim off the excess dough.

Place a small square of parchment paper on top of each pudding and secure with an elastic band. Place the puddings in a wide saucepan with enough water to come three-quarters of the way up the sides of the basins. Allow the water to come to a simmer and cook for 35 minutes. Carefully remove the puddings from the moulds.

Take some of the warm sauce and using a syringe inject into the pudding. Serve immediately.