I’ve acquired a vintage copy of the Atora Suet Recipes Book, printed some time in the 1950s. I grew up with these Atora recipe books being omnipresent in the kitchen and one of my earliest memories of visiting gran is of her steaming a steak & kidney pudding in a saucepan on her stovetop! Mum used a pressure cooker to make our suet puddings, the pressure cooker had belonged to dad as a present from his mum. While granny had time to make steak & kidney pudding, mum used to usually just cook us stew & dumplings. Anything suet is a “win” in my book!
I wonder where this booklet has been all these decades – it must have brought many enjoyable and happy meals to the table of some lucky diners!
I’ll type up the ingredients for the recipes and the contents of the book in the coming weeks – this book has a special Christmas Fare section in the middle – an extra insert printed in full colour and giving Christmas Atora Suet Recipes!
It’s a 48 page pamphlet, containing 48 pages, printed and published by Hugon & Company.
The front cover is printed in colour, with a photo of a Christmas Pudding and a Steak & Kidney pie, while inside all the photographs are in black and white, except the central Christmas Fare pages, which are printed in full colour and occupy 8 pages.
Below I’ve transcribed the introductory pages and I’ll be listing the recipes contained in the book in other posts – as there are so many recipes, there’ll be a separate post per section. In all, this tiny booklet contains 300-500 recipes if you count in the variations!
We present in this booklet a varied selection of all that is best in suet cookery. This is one branch of the culinary art that is essentially British – it suits our climate and our way of life – and perhaps that is why many succeeding generations have shown such singular adaptability in evolving the numerous delightful recipes now available to us.
It cannot be too strongly emphasized that “ATORA” is good beef suet, and may be used with full confidence in every preparation calling for the use of suet, from the Dumpling to the Christmas Pudding. Mr Hugon, the originator of suet refining, discovered that by rendering the fat under special conditions and removing the elements that cause decay, namely skin and tissue, the suet would keep without preservatives for long periods. This is the secret of “ATORA” and the reason why the housewife now enjoys the wonderful convenience of a constant supply of fresh suet always on hand.
Furthermore the removal of the skin and tissue and the even mixing due to the fine shreds, imparts an extreme lightness in the cooking, and removes the reproach which was sometimes levelled at puddings made with the old-fashioned suet, of being heavy and stodgy.
One last important point. These recipes prepared with “ATORA” are not only nice – they contain all the nourishment of good beef suet. Remember that suet is more than a cooking medium, it is a food, and there is no substitute for it.
That is an interesting short piece on the man who invented Atora – and how it is made – and what benefits Atora suet gave over making your own suet from fresh.
Atora Suet Recipes:
The booklet is divided into nine separate sections and gives recipes for four servings in the following categories:
Section 1. Dumplings Sweet & Savoury
Section II. Steamed Puddings
Section III. Christmas Fare
Section IV. Baked Puddings
Section V. Puddings that can be Served Hot or Cold
Section VI. Savoury Dishes
Section VII. Traditional Recipes
Section VIII. Sauces for Puddings
Section IX. Sundries
“All recipes throughout this book are sufficient for four average portions”