Hi De Beauvoir Bellies,
I've not done a seasonal blog this week but I just thought I’d share with how to make your Sunday dinner even better. Whether you’re cooking for just yourself or you have a table big enough for 10 that you have a burning desire to fill, this recipe is adaptable – you’ll just have to do some maths.
We all know the story. Over the years you’ve honed your roasties (I use rape seed oil…perhaps more on that anon) and that rib of beef always comes out a blushing pink rare to medium rare. There’s just one crippling fear and that leaves you reaching for the Aunt Bessies. Stop. You don’t need to, regardless of how inventive those nans are on the advert. Lose the fear and never have a rubbish Yorkshire pudding again. Ever. Here’s how.
Ingredients – enough for 4 greedy people, 6 more restrained ones.
4 medium free range eggs
225g plain flour
300ml whole milk
Big pinch of sea salt and white pepper
Rape seed oil
First, ditch the muffin tins. One big, beautiful Yorkie is so much more satisfying and so much easier. You’ll still get all the crunchy bits with the soft pancakey middle and you and your munching companions can all get the best bits. So, grab a big tin – and if you’re like me (bearded/checked shirt/East London/draw your own conclusions) an enamel tin. They heat up quickly and are generally non-stick.
Now we’ve got that one sorted, break your eggs into a bowl and just break them up. Don’t whisk them vigorously, just until they resemble slime or snot. Not the most appetising thought I know, but stick with me. The snotty looking eggs will make your Yorkie rise majestically and give it structure and support when it has done. That was the science bit.
Onwards. Sift in the flour, salt and white pepper. Now get your whisk in and beat until you get a good smooth paste. You can do this in a machine if you want, but it gives you less control and less of a feeling of achievement. Add the milk a little at a time combining the mixture until you get a smooth batter.
Cover with cling film, leave to rest for a couple of hours at room temperature if you’ve got time – or half an hour in the fridge will do. Have a cuppa and make sure the oven is preheated to 200 fan, or a bit hotter conventional. Leave plenty of room for the pudding to rise, otherwise you’ll be picking Yorkshire pudding your of your oven shelves for days.
When you’re ready to get cooking, put a very generous glug of rape seed oil (or veg oil if not) into your tin, enamel or otherwise. People say that beef dripping is the only way, but I respectfully disagree. Let that heat for about 10 minutes and get your mix ready. Give it one last quick whisk and wait. That oil needs to be hot. When it is, pour the mixture into the tray, get it in the oven and do something else. If you watch the first 5 minutes, you’ll only be disappointed. It looks like nothing is happening. Come back after half an hour. If it’s starting to look a bit crispy on top before it’s cooked underneath, just turn the oven down.
People say never to open the oven door – and that is the best thing to do… but if after the initial rise has happened, and you need to jiggle your roasties a bit, do it. It normally takes about 40 minutes, but it’s your dinner not mine, so do it to your liking.
Please do try this. It will change your Sunday dinner forever. Or Monday or Tuesday dinner. It’s a blinder for toad in the hole as well. Cook it as above until it has well risen, then throw in some browned sausages and cook for another 20 minutes. I’ve tried it with the sausages from the beginning – it’s not as good!
Until next time, happy eating.