Friday, March 5, 2010

Weekend Recipe: Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

My husband grew up in England, and recently he had a craving for a good old English Sunday dinner. I've never had any success with roast beef, so I waited until my parents visited to tackle the iconic roast and Yorkshire pudding. The crisp, puffy bread made from flour, water, milk, egg and roast drippings is a staple of the Sunday dinner, and once you've tasted it, it's easy to see why.

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding
adapted from Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course

1 beef roast (sirloin, standing rib -- just try to get it on the bone for more flavor)flour
red wine or broth

Preheat the oven to 475 F (245 C). Dust the fat surface of the beef with a mixture of flour and pepper (but no salt, since this encourages the juices to escape). Place the roast in a pan and add a cup or so of red wine or broth -- enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook the roast for 20 minutes at 475 F, then lower the heat to 375 F (190 C) and cook for 15 minutes per pound for rare, plus an additional 15 minutes per pound for medium rare, or 30 minutes per pound for well done (so a 4-lb roast will cook for 20 min. at 475, then 1 hour at 375 for rare, 1 hour 15 min. for medium rare or 1.5 hours for well done). Baste the meat from time to time with the pan juices. Let the roast rest for 30 minutes before you carve and serve -- just the right amount of time to make the Yorkshire pud.

Yorkshire Pudding
There are just a few rules: for a successful pudding you must (i) have the oven very hot, (ii) use a flameproof metal container, and (iii) always use plain flour rather than self-rising. -Delia Smith
Serves 4
2/3 c flour
1 egg
3 oz milk
2 oz water
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. pan drippings from roast

Sift the flour into a bowl, make a well in the center, break an egg into it and beat it, gradually incorporating the flour, milk, water, and seasoning. You don't have to leave the batter to stand, so make it when you're ready.
About 15 minutes before the meat is done, raise the heat on the oven to 425 F (220 C) and place the dish on a baking sheet on a free shelf, adding the dripping. After 15 minutes, remove the roast and leave aside to rest, then place the pudding tin over direct heat on the stove while you pour the batter into the hot fat. Then return the tin to the baking sheet on the highest shelf. The pudding will take 25-30 minutes to rise and become crisp and golden. Serve as soon as possible, as it loses its crunchiness if it has to wait around too long.


  1. mmmm sounds yummy. I've always been confused by the name "pudding" though, as it matches neither the US nor British typical use of the word. What's up with that?

  2. i've never figured that out, either! maybe it's cos it's made of flour, milk and egg?


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