The Yorkshire pudding dates back to the early 1700s, when it was traditionally served as an opening course in order to save money by helping to satisfy peoples’ hunger before the main, more expensive dish of roast beef or lamb with potatoes and gravy was served. Of course, this depended on how wealthy you were, as some of the less fortunate people of the time would often eat Yorkshire puddings as the main course itself.
Initially made using the fat and juices collected in the dripping pan, this light and fluffy pudding was soon to be named “The Yorkshire Pudding” as a tribute to the chefs in the North of England who made the dish popular. These days, the first Sunday of each February is now designated as National Yorkshire Pudding Day, in England and throughout the rest of the UK.
In fact, Yorkshire Puddings have become so popular that there is even an American version of the same celebratory day, which our transatlantic neighbours commemorate in October.
How to Make the Perfect Yorkshire Pudding
Yorkshire Puddings are incredibly simple to make and the main ingredients are flour, eggs, milk, water and salt.
In order to make your own Yorkshire Puddings, you first need to place a tablespoon and a half of plain flour into a bowl. Then make a small well shaped space in the middle to which you add a single egg. You need to mix the flour and egg together, whilst adding a half tablespoon of milk and a half tablespoon of water gradually. As the batter starts to form, you then add half a teaspoon of salt before leaving the smooth and thin mixture to stand for about 10 to 12 minutes.
Once this is done, you will then need to add some beef dripping into a large Yorkshire Pudding tin, or a number of small, individual tins, before placing them into a hot oven and waiting for the fat to start to smoke.
Next, simply stir the batter one final time before pouring into the tin(s) and returning them to the oven for about 15 minutes – or until they start to rise.
Once ready, you can either serve the Yorkshire Puddings as a starter with gravy, or serve them up on the plate with your traditional Sunday Roast.
Choosing the Best Cut of Beef for Your Sunday Roast
When asked to list their top ten favourite things about living in the UK, the vast majority of Brits voted the traditional Sunday Roast in the top two. Of course, the focus of the Sunday Roast is the actual joint of meat itself, with classic cuts including Silverside, Topside and Rump (from the back of the animal), through to Sirloin, Fillet and Fore Rib.
If are looking for a high quality joint of beef for your Sunday Roast then always avoid buying meat from a supermarket. Instead, find yourself a proper butcher – preferably a local one that comes highly recommended by someone who knows what they are talking about! You should definitely steer well clear of processed beef joints that are frozen or vacuum packed. A good joint of beef should be dry to the touch and it should also have a slightly sweet smell to it.
To stay in top form, beef should always be well-aired and allowed to age naturally for a few days, so you should also aim to avoid bright red cuts as this means that the beef has not been allowed to mature properly and that it has been stored in an unnatural, oxygen free environment. Of course, if the joint has only just been cut by your butcher on his wooden chopping block, then a bright red colour is acceptable (and inevitable).
In terms of breed, many top chefs will only use pure or native breeds when preparing Sunday Roast. Breeds which are professionally recommended for Sunday cooking include Angus, Dexter, Longhorn and Galloway beef. Again, if you are unsure then you can always ask your butcher for an expert opinion.
If you are preparing the Sunday joint yourself then a traditional chopping board made from high quality wood is an essential piece of kit that will serve you well over the years. Here at Row & Sons, we are proud to provide the best quality, handmade chopping boards that are designed specifically for the safe and hygienic cutting of meat and poultry, which will also provide excellent protection against wear and tear for your catering knives.
We also manufacture a superb choice of food serving boards, which are a fantastic alternative to conventional plates. These are available in a diverse range of materials such hard woods and hardwearing polyethylene in a choice of granite and marble effect designs.