Thursday, November 10, 2011

Perfect Yorkshire Pudding With Beef Roast

My perfect little yorkies!
I've been itching to make a batch of yorkshire puddings since a week ago. The only other time I've tried a yorkshire pudding was at lawry's with my mom and sis, which had left an indelible impression on me. So, with my new muffin tins, I decided to make a batch at home!

But of course, these yorkies are meant to go with some nice gravy, so I took out my trusty italian cookbook and picked a beef roast recipe.

At first glance, the beef recipe looked easy enough, but that was because my eyes glazed over the words "larding needle" So when I actually got my hands down to doing it, I realised I had to lard the beef! To be honest, I didn't quite know how to do that so I had to google it. As I didn't have a larding needle, I used my good old chinese chopsticks as suggested by Marcella, but still, it was quite a feat! After fighting larding my beef, I felt pretty accomplished!! :D

Beef that was so tender, with fat and juices running over.
But still, the star of the day had to be those yorkies. It was so fluffy with the perfect hollow in the centre to lap up all the onions and gravy. Mmm... I was glad I made it cos it was hubby's first yorkie and he really enjoyed it! Loved the hint of milk in the pudding. Yorkies FTW!

Perfect hollow in the center.
I saved one yorkie for my friend who doesn't eat beef, and plonked a tablespoon of strawberry jam in the middle. Delicious! Yorkies can also be eaten as desserts by topping them with some compote or ice-cream. Lovely! Will definitely make these yorkshire puddings again, probably the next time with a thicker gravy (this onion sauce runs a little thin).

Yorshire Pudding (from Simple Bites)
Yields: 12
  • 7/8 cups of flour (250 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2-3 Tablespoons butter or lard (for pan)
TIP: Have all ingredients at room temperature.
  1. Sift salt and flour together into a bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, into which pour the milk and water. Beat thoroughly with a whisk.
  2. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, beat the eggs until frothy and add to the batter. Beat the better well.
  3. Cover batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F and generously butter a 12- cup muffin tin.
  5. Remove Yorkshire pudding batter from fridge and beat until small bubbles rise to the surface.
  6. Place the buttered muffin tin into the oven until butter is sizzling and slightly browned (about a minute and a half). Remove pan from oven and quickly pour batter into muffin cups, distributing the batter evenly between the 12 cups.
  7. Return to oven as speedily as possible and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. You may need to raise the pan to the top shelf of the oven to get a nice browning on the tops.
  8. Remove from oven, and with a fork, pop Yorkshire pudding into a waiting napkin-lined basket. Serve immediately.
Beef Roast Braised With Onions (From Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking)
What is remarkable about this roast is that it is braised with only the juices that flow from the onions on which the meat rests. Eventually, the juices vanish, the mean becomes tenderly impregnated with sweet onion flavor, and the onions themselves turn deliciously brown.

The only fat used is the pancetta with which the beef is larded. If you don't have a larding needle, push strips of pancetta into the meat using a chopstick of the traditional hard Chinese rather than the soft, breakable Japanese kind, or the other blunt, narrow stick, or similar object. Pierce the meat following the direction of its grain.

For 4 to 6 servings

1/4 pound pancetta or salt pork in a single piece
2 pounds boneless beef roast, preferably the brisket
5 cloves
4 medium onions sliced very, very thin
Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Cut the pancetta or salt pork into narrow strips about 1/4 inch wide. Use hald the strips to lard the meat with a larding needle, or by an alternative method as suggested in the introductory remarks above.

3. Insert the cloves at random into any 5 of the places where the pancetta was inserted.

4. Choose a heavy-bottomed pot just large enough to accomodate the roast snugly. Spread the sliced onion on the bottom of the pot, over it distribute the remaining strips of pancetta or salt pork, then put in the meat. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and cover tightly. If the lid does not provide a tight fit, place a sheet of aluminium foil between it and the pot. Put on the uppermost rack of the preheated oven.

5. Cook for about 3 1/2 hours, until the meat feels very tender when proded with a fork. Turn the roast after the first 30 minutes, and every 30 to 40 minutes thereafter. You will find that the color of the meat is dull and unlovely at first, but as it finishes cooking and the onions become colored a dark brown it develops a rich, dark, patina.

6. When done, slice the meat and arrange the slices on a warm platter. Pour the contents of the pan and the juices left on the cutting board over the meat, and serve at once.

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