July 14, 2005

Spotted Dick

The discussion of this particular delicacy began when Jacques Chirac insulted British cooking, and really picked up once the discussion of thinks to be admired about British cooking really took off. I'd contemplated posting about the stuff some time back, when I found a can of the stuff; the topic was to be whether Heinz was hurting the US job market by producing the stuff in England.

I actually started searching for recipes when the trigger was to have been Chirac. Other than the one ArmyWife worked with, margarine based, they were all so British as to use suet as the shortening. No thank you. I split the difference and used butter, and also averaged out some of the other ingredients.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup raisins

Let the butter sit out for a little while, till it starts to soften. Didn't take long in our kitchen this time of year. Blend each ingredient into the butter in order, mashing with a fork until you get to the raisins, for which you stir rather than mash.

Tear off a long piece of wax paper, and grease it. I was going to use the wrapper from the butter, but someone thoughtfully threw it out for me so I used a quick spritz of cooking spray, and doubled up the paper to spread it around. Dollop the batter into the middle of the wax paper, bring the ends together and fold over for a nominal seal, and roll it up into a sausage. Twist the ends and tie with bits of string. Cover with water in either a saucepan or the crockpot. Boil for two and half to three ours, or slow cook on high for six. It is suggested that you slice while hot and serve with a sweet sauce; I'm inclined to use butterscoth icecream topping as long as it's all about sweetness.

In the course of my research I learned that a hospital in Gloucester, England, changed the name on their dessert menu to spotted richard to spare the sensibilities of patients who had been exposed to USian slang, but changed it back due to the resultant confusion. Fact of the matter is that "dick" in this instance is short for "puddick", which is a variant of pudding, which is in turn a variant of the French "boudin" and originally meant sausage and is the reason for the traditional shape.

Posted by triticale at July 14, 2005 11:12 PM | TrackBack

What's wrong with suet? I wish I could get the bloody stuff in Costa Rica. A Steak and Kidney Pie just isn't the same without suetcrust pastry.

Posted by: David Gillies at July 18, 2005 03:08 PM
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