Recipe Shed: Manchester Rag Pudding (best eaten after beer)

Not so much a recipe, more a work of artisanal art. But still keeping in with the theme of this week’s Recipe Shed: MINCE.

This is the great north Manchester delicacy, Rag Pudding, which my dad cooked for me during my visit this week. In a nutshell, it’s mince, wrapped in suet pastry, which you then cook in its packaging (today, that’s sellophane wrapping, but it used to be muslin cloth – hence the term Rag Pudding).

I don’t have a recipe for it, except to note that it is made of pure ingredients: minced beef, beef suet, salt and pepper. And that’s about it. And it’s bloody gorgeous.

Serve with my dad’s homemade mushy peas, chips and Harry Ramsden’s chip shop curry sauce (or make your own from the katsu recipe I posted two weeks ago) and you have a pretty perfect meal. Works best after five-six pints of Holts bitter!

Feast your eyes…


Filed under Beef, Recipe Shed

26 Responses to Recipe Shed: Manchester Rag Pudding (best eaten after beer)

  1. I have to say that it’s very refreshing to read about your hearty and traditional meals when us girls are all worrying about the hidden calories in our salad and sparkling water. When I’m sylphlike I’m going to instigate a once-a-month Keith-meal dinner. I’d like to hear from your wife how she keeps so slim.

  2. Jude.x

    OMG! Home made Pudding, chips, peas and gravy!! Right. Can’t stop. Off over the hills for tea! Where does your Dad live? 😀 It looks delicious. Just don’t tell me he does steak and cow-heel as well because then I’d have to move in with him. Jude.x

  3. The Rambling Pages

    Being a Yorkshire girl I should be finding something bad to say about delicacies from the wrong side of the pennines however on this one I must agree, it is a dish fit for a king, and I too would move in with your Dad, even if he does live like I say on the wrong side, just for his mushy peas

  4. I’m from Manchester & have never had rag pudding – I need to rectify this as soon as possible!!!

  5. dmc

    I make these for friends and family! and of course myself:)) and it’s nice to see them done out of the bowl!!

  6. julie

    I am having rag pudding on Sunday, it’s from a bakery in Tottington. I’ve also made it myself using cling film. It’s great. j

  7. barry chapman

    My mother used to make rag puddings 5 days a week for a chippy in ashton uner lyne…the chippy was called borrels firstly in ashton town centre then moved to ashton moss estate…….in at 6am to do the puddings making them steaming them…cleaning the muslin cloths everyday….woe and behold she passed the recipe to make ……memories are made of this

    • Jack Maddox

      Hi Barry,
      I am originally from Ashton, and the name Borrels is familiar.
      I now live in Wokingham and sometimes find a pub with them on the menu when visiting friends and family in the North.
      If you have the recipe I would be grateful if you could send me a copy.

  8. Linda

    I am a salford girl and we used to have rag pudding all the time, the alternate is a steak and kidney pudding from Hollands. But u will never beat home made rag pudding I had this last night for Friday tea :)

  9. Esther Morrison

    You can also buy Rag Puddings now in the Produce hall at Stockport Market from Deli Delights and try one first at the oak Tree Cafe in the Victorian Market Hall!

  10. I am 63 years old now and how i still yearn for my nins rag pudding, mince meat onions , salt and pepper, muslim cloth. then steamed. As kids we always wanted them as big as she could make them.Gorgeous. Making one this weekend.

  11. paul

    The recipe , is mined beef the leaner the better, or you can use diced steak , add kidney to if to your liking , atora suet is the best and also self raising flour, chopped onions seasoning= salt n pepper, and oxo cubes depending on how big and how many are to be made,i have been making rag puddings ever since watching my nana make them back when I was a young lad and this is the recipe her mother used, and did you al know it was here in the Lancashire town of Oldham were they was first made when it was full of cotton mills,right now im off to prepare some for our tea but m having them with white cabbage and boiled spuds…..hearty food fit for the Queen.

  12. tony

    my mum makes the best rag puddings in the world, but our local chippy (Blue Dolphin in Shaw) does a good one too. I thought rag puddings were from Oldham, not Manchester

    • keithkendrick

      I bought mine from the precinct in Hyde, which is Greater Manchester. Where I grew up (though I lived in Oldham for several years)

  13. Doing some rag puds for bonfire night at my daughters in Leeds ,the have never tried them over the Pennines,getting the help of my mum who used to always make them ,I only made them once,mum is 84 now and looking forward to making them.

    • keithkendrick

      Sounds great. I haven’t had rag puddings for a while. I’ll get some next time I visit my dad. Have a cracking Bonfire Night.

  14. Richard the lionheart

    Well a lad from Oldham gave me 4 puddings and I’m savouring everyone of them. His mums recipe. Lovely juicy and sustaining and supreme.

    Up the Oldham Tinkers folk group, rag pudds, Holland’s puddings and meat and tattie pies.

    • keithkendrick

      Holland’s meat pies! Oh yes. Best in the country. Every time I go to see my dad in Manchester, I had straight to the chippy for Holland’s meat pie, chips, mushy peas and gravy. Oh, and scallops – not the seafood kind,m but battered, deep-fried potato slices. Can’t beat ’em.

  15. Alan

    Tried to make these today , cooked in a pan of simmering water for 3.5hrs , opened up the muslin cloth and the suet was still like mush ( resembled cottage pie)

    Anyone any ideas what I did wrong ?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Somedude

      You did nothing wrong. When you open the cloth it will be soft. Leave it to air for a few minutes and it will toughen up enough to handle it gently.

      Top tip – to make individual puddings for your freezer easily and in bulk, make a beef stew in your slow cooker, then freeze a few portions in plastic bags stuffed in upright toilet roll middles. Pull them out once solid and roll them up easily in suet pastry, wrap it tightly in a handkerchief, and drop back in the slow cooker now full of boiling water. After 2-3 hours in there you can pull them out, unwrap them, cover in cling film and freeze them. They microwave fine once defrosted.

  16. Paul Jesson

    I am from OLdham living in Canada for the last 33 years and I can tell you I miss and crave for Rag Puddings every day my mother made the best.

  17. Paul Jesson

    The best are from Oldham like me brought up on rag puddings made by my mother

  18. Jim B

    Great memories of rag puddings. I need a recipe for use in Canada. Not sure where to buy suet, Ahora or other. Hollands used to sell one available in all the Chippies in Rochdale area but not a patch on those domestic made puddings wrapped in whatever pure white cloth was available. Hmm, I can taste ’em now.