Tender chunks of beef with kidney in a rich gravy encased in a light suet crust. Total comfort food. Delicious!
For the filling
Remove all fat and sinew from the beef and chop into 1.5 cm (half-inch) cubes. Put into saucepan or pressure cooker with half of the stock and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 3 hours (or 20 minutes if you're using a pressure cooker). Towards the end of the cooking time, finely chop the onion and kidneys - you need to get rid of the gristly bit in the middle of each kidney. When the beef is almost cooked, sauté the chopped onion in medium hot oil until slightly browned then add the kidney and cook for a few more minutes. Add the onion and kidney to the beef.
For the gravy
Melt the butter in a medium-hot pan, and stir in the flour. This is called a roux. In this case, we want a dark roux, so we continue to cook it on medium heat until the mixture has turned brown. Now remove from heat and add some of the remaining stock. Stir it in vigorously until you have a smooth paste. Add the rest of the stock, the pepper and the parsley. Stir until smooth and add most of the gravy to the meat pan (but save some for pouring on the finished dish). Cook for a few more minutes, then put the filling into the fridge or freezer to cool down to room temperature.
For the pastry
Mix together the dry ingredients, and then add some of the water. We are aiming for a stiffish dough, so keep adding water a bit at a time until you have the right consistency. Tip the dough out onto a floured worktop and roll out to a thickness of about 6mm (a quarter of an inch). Cut two discs for the lids - they should be a bit bigger than the top of the thing you are making the puddings in. Cut two more discs for the bases - they should be about two or three times bigger than your tins.
Liberally grease the inside of the tins with softened butter and then gently line each one with the dough, taking care not to make any holes in it. Trim off any excess dough from the top, but leave an overhang of about 6mm (a quarter of an inch).
Partly fill a pan with hot water, enough to reach just below the top of your pudding tins. Fill each dough-lined tin with steak and kidney mixture. Moisten the rim of each dough base with cold water, and place a lid on each one. Crimp the edges together, making sure the lid and the base are completely sealed. Loosely wrap each pudding in foil, leaving some room for expansion of the tops.
Place the puddings into the pan of water and bring it to the boil. Put a tight-fitting lid on the pan, turn down the heat, and steam the puddings for one hour. When cooked, remove from the pan and allow to cool for a few minutes. Unwrap the puddings and gently run a knife around the top to loosen them from the tins. Carefully turn them out onto plates and serve with potatoes, vegetables and gravy.