Saturday 10 March 2012

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

Last weekend I made a dish that epitomises English cooking - roast beef with Yorkshire pudding. Nothing fancy, but just "darn good"!

I used a piece of Topside beef which I had bought at my local butcher's - the Linkway Butchers in Fleet. It weighed just over a kilogram - I was planning to have some left over for eating cold the following day, because I know that Jane is very partial to a bit of cold roast beef.

I "massaged" the meat with a little oil and then cooked it for about 15 minutes in a very hot oven (240C) to brown it. I then let the oven cool a bit with the door open while I manoeuvred the beef into a roasting-bag, to which I added about a cupful of water before sealing it. Then I cooked it for another hour at 160C. Topside can be rather dry, which is why I cooked the meat in a roasting-bag. This method helps to preserve the meat's natural moisture, as well as adding some extra..

I then cut open the roasting-bag, removed the meat to a carving-board to let it rest, covered with some aluminium foil, retaining the meat juices for making gravy, and cooked the Yorkshire pudding.

I had made the batter for the Yorkshire pudding a few hours earlier. For my batter I used 65g plain flour, 75ml milk, 75ml water, a quarter-teaspoon of salt, one whole egg and one extra egg yolk. All these ingredients were zuzzed-up in a liquidiser until blended, before leaving the batter to stand for a few hours in the fridge.

Once I had removed the fully-cooked meat, I turned the oven up as high as it would go (approx 250C), put a small quantity of vegetable oil into my pudding-tin (which was one with four small compartments), and put it in the oven to heat.

 When the oil was really hot, I poured in my batter, with the pudding-tin resting on the oven shelf next to the open door, so that the oven would cool down only a little while I did this job. Then, I closed the oven door and cooked the Yorkshire pudding for about 20 minutes until fluffy and golden.

While the puddings were cooking I made some gravy with the meat juices thickened with some flour. Oh, and (I nearly forgot) finished my vegetables - roast potatoes, carrots and Spring Greens (a type of cabbage that is grown for its leaf, and does not form a heart).

Then it was just question of plating-up and eating... Actually it was slightly before this that I realised the photographic potential of the meal and snapped-off a couple of rather hurried photos!

This dish is often accompanied by creamed Horseradish, or English Mustard. And in our case, a bottle of very nice Argentinian Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva Privada, courtesy of Casillero del Diablo.

The verdict: the meat was tasty, though still quite firm (but not tough like Topside sometimes is), but the stars of the show were clearly the Yorkshire puddings. They were light and fluffy - soft on the inside but crispy on the outside - and (wonder of wonders) did not stick to the pan. I must have got the technique right, which pleased me no end since this was actually the first time I have ever made Yorkshire pudding. Beginner's Luck maybe.

The leftovers:

The credits: In general I followed the advice given by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in his book "The River Cottage Meat Book". We're seldom disappointed with one of HFW's recipes...


  1. This looks delicious! One plate for me please!

  2. So how well done was your beef? - I don't like to see any blood so avoid beef when in France as however well done you ask for it to be done it comes onto the table with a pulse. That's after the waiter curls his nose for you having the lack of taste that allows you to ask for well done meat!

  3. But you didn't put any gravy into hollow in the Yorkies!

  4. Sue; I used to be like you are with the meat, but as I get older my preference is changing. I still don't like very rare meat, but I can tolerate pink. The best bit of all is the end piece though - crispy and blackened is good!

    Toffeeapple: Maybe I put the gravy in after the photo was taken... Who knows? The yorkies certainly didn't hang around long enough to go soggy!

  5. I have never had Yorkshire Pudding! But I will ammend that his summer! Yours certainly looked delicious as well as very pretty.

  6. Roast beef and Yorkshire puds has to be my favourite meal, perhaps because I'm a Yorkshire gal.

  7. It does look good. I have never tried Yorkshire pudding and found your post very interesting. It just puffs up like that with just flour, eggs, milk, water and salt? If you had put gravy in it, would it just have been gravy made from the drippings?

  8. Big Mistake Mark....I shouldn't have visited you until I'd eaten.
    This looks so good. I adore yorkshire's! Oh yes and beef's not bad either.
    I have a Greek styled butterfly leg of lamb on the Barbie as we speak...
    wish it was cooked already. I'm starving now ;)

  9. Becky; Yes, it's magic, isn't it? Very simple recipe, yet very delicious result. I think the key element is having the oven+oil as hot as possible. And the gravy was indeed made with the meat juices with some added water, but thickened with some flour.

  10. No horseradish whats up with that? lol I am going to have to try making yorkshire pudding it sounds great with a dollop of gravy yummm'..

  11. Mark doesn't like hosreradish - can you believe that? But I made up for it with a huge dollop on my plate! And his Yorkshire Puddings were better than any I've ever made.

  12. The pudding is gorgeous, I'll have to give it a go, I wonder if I can use a muffin pan....

  13. Yes good old british sunday roast,nothing beats it, and these images , well Im darn hungry now,just looking.


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