Thursday, October 9, 2008

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

In the old days, when families were larger than they are today, Yorkshire pudding, drenched in gravy, was served as a tummy filler before the main meal

I had young guests for lunch the day made these Yorkshire puddings, so I baked them in muffin pans which worked very well
Growing up in a predominantly Afrikaans household, it was quite a culture shock when I married into an English family. However, I've always ejoyed and met challenges head-on, so this didn't faze me too much. From a young [wife's] age, I learnt all about English traditions especially their way of cooking and eating.

One tradition I especially enjoy is the fact that you eat roast beef with something called Yorkshire pudding. To my simplistic young mind, way back in the seventies, I couldn't imagine eating "pudding" with meat. (I soon discovered the difference and loved this new type of fare) I made a point of standing at my mum-in-law's elbow and watching while she cooked. For Yorkshire pudding she never used a recipe; it was all in her head, she said. Nevertheless, like with many other things over the years, she showed me exactly what to do.

Last week I looked up the recipe on the Internet and lo and behold, exactly what mum-in-law told me, still holds today. Reading up Delia Smith's recipe, she said a classic Yorkshire pudding is not difficult to make provided you have the right recipe, the right size baking tin and the correct oven temperature.
In the days when large families were the order of the day, Mother baked the Yorkshire pudding in a pan under a grill on which the piece of beef was roasting. All the fat and meat juices dripped into the pudding making it rich and tasty. Before the main meal, each person would be served a healthy slice of Yorkshire pudding drenched in gravy. This helped to fill the tummy so that when the meat was carved and shared among everyone, you didn't need so much and meat helping did not seem so meagre. Later on in the afternoon, the leftover puddings were eaten with honey, jam or sprinkled with sugar.

When I had guests for lunch a while ago, I decided to make roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Because there were quite a few young people at my table, I used muffin tins which worked very well.

While preparing dinner, make the pudding batter and allow it to rest in the fridge for about an hour. When your meat is just about done ( my family eats beef rare/underdone - so this is a tricky time - ha!) drizzle olive oil (or beef dripping if you can get it) into each muffin pan and place in oven to heat very well. If you pour the batter into the oil and it doesn't splatter and sizzle, stop and return the pan to the oven to heat up some more.

Now for the recipe, or rather, further instructions on how to make perfect Yorkshire pudding a la Mama-in-law with a slight adaption to Delia Smith's recipe.

Yorkshire pudding

4 eggs

300 gr (12oz) plain flour

300 ml (12 fl oz) milk

220 ml (8 fl oz) water

2 tbs dripping (olive oil works just as well)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Beat eggs well and add the milk.

Gradually add the flour, and using an electric handheld beater, mix well

Add the water to form quite a runny batter

Leave in fridge for about an hour

Place enough olive oil or dripping in a baking tin, 11 x 7 inches (28 x 18 cm) and heat very well in oven.

Whisk batter once more and working carefully, remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter into the hot oil. (It should splatter and sizzle else the oil is not hot enough and the pudding will be stodgy.)

Replace baking tin in oven and bake at 220 ° C or gas mark 7 (425 ° F)

The pudding should rise and become crisp and golden within 25-30 Minutes.

Serve as soon as possible while it is still crunchy. Makes 24 muffins.


  1. My mother made that for us too. So good.

  2. Oh wow, Hill upon Hill, it's so seldom I find people who are familiar with these delicious little puddings. Hugs Jo


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo