Traditional bacon clanger

Clanger ready for steaming
NOTE: A recipe similar to a pork ‘plugger’ that has many regional variations. However, instead of the filling being rolled in the suet pastry and steamed in a floured muslin cloth, it is made in a pudding bowl . There was at one time an annual clanger eating competition near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire - something I would certainly advocate resurrecting.


    Serves 2-3
    For the suet pastry
    220g (8oz) flour
    110g (4oz) beef or vegetable suet (grated)
    Good pinch of salt
    For the filling
    220g (8oz) lean bacon
    1 large spanish onion (chopped)
    Fresh parsley and sage to taste


    1. Remove rind from bacon and chop
    2. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and add the suet. Combine with your hands binding it with a little water until a firm but pliable dough is formed. Roll out on a floured surface to about 6mm (1/4 inch) thick
    3. Line a 700ml greased pudding basin with pastry reserving enough for the lid
    4. Place the bacon in a frying pan over a low heat to get the fat running
    5. Fry the chopped onion until golden brown and mix with the bacon
    6. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley, sage and pepper then mix thoroughly. Place mixture in the pudding bowl and cover with a suet pastry lid sticking it down with a little water
    7. Cover with two layers of greaseproof paper tied down tightly around the rim with cooks string. Form a lifting handle using another piece of string
    8. Place in a steamer or large covered saucepan with a saucer in the bottom and cook for three hours adding water to the steaming vessel as necessary
    9. Traditionally served with chopped spring cabbage and sliced tomatoes but goes well with carrot and swede mash too
This recipe comes from a collection by prolific publisher and local historian Catherine Rothwell