Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Beef, Beer and Black Pudding Soup

Sometimes, I feel like a food criminal, and suffer the guilt that goes along with it.  Why is that, I hear you ask.  Well, for the last 10 or so years, it seems that words like 'locally sourced' and 'organic' have gone from being trendy buzzwords to a way of life for food lovers.  Except...  bank balances, busy lives and other distractions seem to have gotten in the way of me getting on the bandwagon.  Now I know that people like Hugh F-W have made a career of making people like me feel guilty for not going the extra mile, and I know that I should be supporting local producers but sometimes real life gets in the way.

Then I started writing a blog about soup.  And I started thinking a little bit more about where the food I eat came from, how good it tasted and how much it cost, and (along with my current efforts to get a bit more healthy) I thought 'maybe I could try  little bit harder'.
Which brings us to today's soup.  I'm a Yorkshire Lad (apart from the sojourn to Hull, which is kinda, sorta still in Yorkshire if you squint) and this soup celebrates Yorkshire and lots of local things.  The beef was from a local butchers (just across the road from our local supermarket, so not out of my way at all), the Yorkshire Black Pudding (which is brilliant and would win a fight with black pudding from anywhere else in the country) was bought from a local food fair at Kirkstall Abbey, which as well as being a good place to buy interesting things (Water Buffalo Burgers! Venison Liver! Koeksisters!) was a fun afternoon out, the Thyme, I know is locally produced as it's growing on my window ledge, and the Bilberry Jam was made with my own fair hands after being picked on Yorkshire Day last year, and finally the beer was from the Black Sheep Brewery (in North Yorkshire!)
So that's a lot of locally produced stuff in this soup, and for not much (if any) extra effort.  The result is a brilliant, tasty soup which is a cross between a casserole and a thick gravy, and perfect for this wintery summer we seem to be having at the moment.

Incidentally, if you aren't currently in Yorkshire and didn't make any Bilberry jam, Red Currant jelly works just as well, and any black pudding can be used, although you can order Yorkshire Black Pudding from here

300g Beef Skirt
2 Small Onions
1 Large Carrot
3tbsp Mashed Potato
2 Bay Leaves
1tsp Fresh Thyme
250g Yorkshire Black Pudding
500ml Beer
800ml Beef Stock
2tbsp Bilberry Jam
125g Button Mushrooms
Puff Pastry


1. Slice the beef into thin strips and then fry until brown.  I used beef dripping for this as it gives that extra bit of meaty flavour, but feel free to use oil if you want. Set the beef to one side

2.  Thinly slice the onions and fry them in the same pan, until golden.

3. Cut the carrots into small cubes.  Put them in a slow cooker with the onions, beef thyme and bay leaves.  Top up the slow cooker with the beer and stock and then add the bilberry jam and black pudding cubes.  Finally, add the mashed potato.  This is a good way of thickening things cooked in a slow cooker.  However, you could just use cornflour instead. Turn the slow cooker on and leave to cook for 4 hours

4.  Fry the button mushrooms in butter for 5 minutes, until they start to colour.

5.  Heat the oven and cook your puff-pastry (I used pre-prepared stuff form the shop for this, rolled onto a baking tray and cut into squares of about 3 cm)

6.  Serve the soup into dishes and then garnish with the mushrooms and puff pastry squares.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I`ve tried this recipe and i`m really impressed, it has a very good taste. My both child tried it and they like it a lot. Thanks a lot for sharing.