"True beef suet is
the pure pearly, crumbly fat that surrounds beef kidneys. Beef fat from
other parts of the animal, though often sold as suet, is not the same
thing and should not be used. If possible, order suet from a butcher. Supermarket suet is intended primarily as bird food and may not be genuine
or truly fresh."
"Ground or finely chopped beef suet is
essential to certain steamed puddings, particularly
Plum Pudding. Because
it melts relatively late in the cooking process, after the starch in the
batter has begun to set, suet leaves behind thousands of tiny spaces in
the pudding, These spaces make the pudding soft and fine grained. Suet
also imparts a special richness, without any beefy taste."
cannot make a good plum pudding with butter or shortening.. It will end up
greasy and heavy."
"Buy at least 10 ounces of suet to yield 8
ounces cleaned. Cut away and discard any parts that are reddish or that
look dried out, then crumble what remains between your fingers and remove
any pieces of tough filament. (A certain amount of the fine, papery
filament will remain; don't worry about it.)
Separate the pieces of suet
and freeze solid in preparation for chopping. The suet must be chopped to
a very fine, crumb-like consistency, but it must not be allowed to melt
and become pasty. If you work quickly, you will have no trouble doing this
with a large chef's knife. Alternatively, you can grind the suet in a food
processor fitted with the metal blade, being careful not to over-process.
Extra beef suet can be sealed in an airtight plastic bag and frozen for up to 6