How do you convert a recipe from a pressure cooker to one that you can cook in the oven? My mom used to make plum pudding in a pressure cooker and I would like to make it in the oven. Also she used suet in her recipe. I can't find suet in the stores. What can I use as a substitute for suet? Thanks!
By Jennifer from TN
If you gave me the pressure/time I could roughly convert that to temperature and time for you. The oven is going to be much drier though, so you might end up with some hard pudding. I did some research and concluded that there is no substitution for suet. Here's an article for you: ochef.com/657.htm
Sounds like what your mom made was a steamed pudding you can't make it in the over per se, but I will try to help you out. You can make your moms pudding in a pot of boiling water on the stove and it will turn out much the same as if you had pressure cooked it the only difference will be that it requires more water and a longer cooking time. There are some excellent instructions for how to make a steam pudding here http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/1986-11-01/Steamed-Puddings.aspx.
Suet is raw beef fat or mutton fat it has a much higher melting point and is hard to replace.
To render suet, it's best to start with ground beef fat (ask your butcher to grind it if don't have a meat grinder, or else chop the raw beef fat as fine as you can). Heat the ground or chopped suet in a pan over a medium flame until all the fat leaches out. There should be nothing pink in your pan, only solid grey bits in a clear liquid. Strain out the grey bits by pouring the melted suet through a fine cheesecloth. Save the strained liquid fat and let it cool. Suet at this stage is still somewhat soft, but if you melt it and strain it again, you will produce a very hard suet.
You may put out your rendered suet as is, use it to make suet cakes, or store it for later use (it will keep several months in a covered container in your freezer). If you have a locally owned grocery store or butcher shop that cuts up carcasses see if they will save/sell you some of the fat around the kidneys and follow my directions from there. Substituting for it is difficult here is some good information why: ochef.com/657.htm
But if you must choose a hard vegetable shortening one I know of is called Atora Light you can buy it on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Atora-Light/dp/B000T9BJHU
Hope this helps. I make steamed puddings in my pressure cooker a lot and I would encourage you to try it isn't that difficult I promise but I have made lots of them in a pot of boiling water too.
It will be a steamed plum pudding I imagine which your mother made. This is not possible in an oven without filling it with steam but you can make these in a crockpot or slow cooker and I'm going to do that today myself. It just takes several hours and keeping an eye on the water level in the crockpot. You make it in the basin and put a cover over the top, loose enough for expansion, but secure enough to keep steam out. It can be made days before it's needed, then heated up for 2 or 3 hours again in the crockpot when ready to be eaten.
As for suet, it is similar to lard or cresco grated.
Have you asked for suet at the meat dept? That is where I found it when I was making food for birds.
Suet from the grocery is not always able to be consumed by humans. They don't always keep it refrigerated well enough. I know this from asking for some for the birds. The butcher asked me if I was going to cook with it and explained why I shouldn't. So if you ask for it be sure and tell them you are going to cook with it. Get the butcher not an aid, they won't know what you are talking about. Otherwise lard would work or Crisco but it has no flavor.
If you cook it in the oven it will turn out very similar to Christmas cake so you are defeating the object of plum "pudding". I've always used vegetable suet with great success, which doesn't need refrigeration plus it is healthier and easy to use. I don't know if you will find it where you are but the name of it is ATORA vegetable suet.
If you're making a traditional steamed pudding, especially a plum pudding, the answer is "no, there is no substitute for suet." Bet you didn't expect that answer, did you?
Suet is the hard fat from around the kidneys of cows and sheep. Do not confuse it with fat from other parts of the animal that may be sold as suet but does not have the same properties. Most of the suet sold in supermarkets these days is suspect, of indeterminate quality and age, and quite likely intended for bird feeders. A butcher would be a more reliable source for suet.
Because suet has a high melting point, it serves as a place-holder in puddings and crusts when the dough has begun to set, and long after other fats would have melted. As a result, the structure of the pudding is already defined by the time the suet melts, leaving thousands of tiny air holes that give the pudding a light and smooth texture. Additionally, suet, which does not have any meaty taste, imparts a rich flavor. The substitution of butter or shortening, especially in a steamed pudding, simply creates a dish that is heavy and greasy.
Needless to say, very few people cook with suet these days, and most run screaming from any recipe that even mentions the stuff. If you can't bear the thought of using suet, you can certainly substitute solid vegetable shortening, which also has a relatively high melting point, for suet in most recipes and few people will notice.
Best of luck
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