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Son of a Gun in a Sack (Cowboy Pudding)

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“From an Old Better Homes and Gardens Heritage Cookbook. The narrative below is from there. When the ranch cook wanted to be especially nice to the cowhands he made a boiled pudding sometimes called Son of a Gun in a Sack. Raisins or dried apples and suet were added to a soft dough. Following the old colonial method, the mass was placed in a cloth sack and boiled in a big kettle of water until done. Perhaps it got its name because it was so much trouble to make.”
2hrs 25mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In mixing bowl combine flour, bread crumbs, sugar, soda, salt cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
  2. Stir in raisins, suet, and nuts.
  3. Stir in milk and molasses; mix well.
  4. Arrange layers of cheesecloth to form a 16 inch square about 1/8 inch thick; set in a 1 quart bowl.
  5. Fill cheesecloth with pudding mixture; bring up sides of cheesecloth allowing room for expansion of the pudding; tie tightly with string.
  6. Place the “sack” in a colander.
  7. Place colander in kettle; add enough boiling water to cover the sack.
  8. Cover; boil gently for 2 hours.
  9. Remove colander from pan; remove cheesecloth from around pudding at once.
  10. Turn pudding, rounded side up, on plate.
  11. Let stand 30 minutes before service.
  12. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired.
  13. NOTE: Suet is the hard fat from around the kidneys of cows and sheep. Do not confuse it with fat from other parts of the animal that may be sold as suet but does not have the same properties. Most of the suet sold in supermarkets these days is suspect, of indeterminate quality and age, and quite likely intended for bird feeders. A butcher would be a more reliable source for suet. If you can't bear the thought of using suet, you can certainly substitute solid vegetable shortening — which also has a relatively high melting point — for suet in most recipes and few people will notice.

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