I want to make the Steak And Kidney Pudding but they do not sell suet where I live. Can I use butter or ghee instead?
Nigella's Steak and Kidney Pudding (from HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS) uses a traditional suet crust pastry. Suet pastry is usually softer than shortcrust pastry and is good for steamed savoury puddings. Suet is the fat found around the kidneys in beef and mutton and is usually sold in ambient form in packages, shedded and dusted with flour. Vegetarian suet is also popular as an alternative and is used in exactly the same way as animal suet.
Vegetable shortening is the best alternative to suet but needs to be frozen and grated before use. Use the same weight as for the suet (175g, for the US use 14 tablespoons) and freeze the vegetables shortening overnight. Grate the frozen shortening on the coarse side of a box grater and then put the grated shortening back in the freezer for about an hour. Add the frozen, grated shortening to the flour, salt and mustard powder and stir until just combined, then add the water and continue with the recipe.