The Great British Yorkshire Pudding!

By Neil Muir (NEILMUIR1) on April 1, 2010

The Sunday roast dinner is a glorious tradition, a gathering of family and divine food. The wonderful anticipation of the luscious roast beef; the smell of the rich gravy, roast potatos and parsnips, seasonal vegetables, then the long awaited awe inspiring Yorkshire puddings. But it was not always so!


The history of the Yorkshire pudding goes back centuries, but exactly when is really not known, however the first recorded history was in a cookbook in 1747. It came from the north east of England and was considered an obscure peasants food.

2010-03-31/NEILMUIR1/a97554 2010-03-31/NEILMUIR1/b5a845 It was often made by pouring the batter underneath a piece of meat that was roasting on a spit or a trivet. The juices of the meat would drip into the batter. This is still done in many areas and houses.

It is hard to comprehend that originally if meat was scarce the Yorkshirepudding was served first with meat gravy to fill you up. I can remember this and traditional people still adhere to it, even if meat is available. The meat and vegetables are served after the pudding is eaten. there is always some left and this was always given to the children who smeared jam or treacle on it. It is also suitable for Vegetarians  if vegetable oil is used.

 Here is a large pudding that would be served first, howevernowadays it is unusual to see this done except by the dedicated.  Here is one that is filled with rich gravy and ready to serve. Most people make individual puddings and it is served with the meat and vegetables. Who would believe that flour, milk and eggs can make this. Unfortunately the supermarkets sell this easy and wonderful pudding already cooked and frozen! You simply put it in the oven for 4-5 minutes or so I am informed. However the people who have tried them are not very complimentary about them.




Nanny Muir's Yorkshire pudding mix 1917.
2 large eggs.
Good pinch salt.
1/2 pint milk.
3 heaped tbsp PLAIN flour.


Break eggs into bowl and add salt beat well. Now add a spoon full of flour and some of the milk , do this alternately until the mixture is like cream (not too thick). It is best to do this early on the morning of the day you are making them, cover them with a plate and leave to stand. On passing through the kitchen during the morning beat mixture once or twice. When you are ready to cook them make sure that the oven is at 200C\400F for a fan oven or Gas mark 8\450F for a gas oven, although you will have to turn it down to gas mark 7\425F once the batter is in the oven.

   Put a little beef dripping or vegetable oil in baking tins and get the tins and the oil really hot, till the oil is smoking. When the oil is really hot, pour the batter mixture into the tins, not too much it depends on your tins and not too much oil. Put it in the oven quickly and close the oven door. Cook for 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven.

You cannot open the oven door until they are brown or they will collapse. Like this which I did purposely by opening  the door after 10 mintes.




They are still edible like this, it is just they do not look very nice, and do spoil the effect. On the right is how they should look. 

 Have all the other things for dinner already on the plate and add the Yor ksh ire  puddings last adding gravy and serve at once.

Yorkshire puddings should be crispy on the outside and the bottom should be soft and moist! I am most sorry as I had to put things like fan ovens on here, which were not around in 1917 and gas marks. But they did have Agar's with a temperature gauge, so that matches the temp.
With a bit of luck, and do let the oil get really hot, they should come out like these in this Article.

Now to serve this wonderful creation. You really should make proper gravy, it does it justice. For onion gravy see! Otherwise use some good red wine to de-glaze  the bottom of the roasting tin and add some Worcestershire sauce, stirring well and heating on the top of the stove. Then add a spoonful of cornflour dissolved in a bit of water to thicken, when thick enough add a knob of butter, this makes the gravy glisten and adds flavour, stir and serve. 



  We get Colmans in jars and tubes  but it is not as hot as the powder! The correct way to make it from the powder is with milk. You put the powder in a small pot and add the milk, not too much, then it must stand exactly ten  minutes. Someone worked it out that is when it is at is hottest and best flavour! If you are used to jar stuff beware of the powdered stuff as it is very hot if made with a little milk. Horseradish is normally served as well, to make Horseradish sauce see!  The picture on the right is another classic British dish called Toad in the Hole. It uses the same batter and is basiclly a Yorkshire pudding with sausages. It is served with mash, seasonal vegetables and onion gravy!

For Toad in the Hole see!






Related articles:
gravy, Great British Yorkshire Pudding! Recipe for Yorkshire pudding 1917, Horesradis sau, pictures Yorkshire pudding, roast beef, Roast parsnips, roast potato's, seasonal vegetables family dinner, Sunday dinner, Toad in the Hole, Yorkshire Puddings

About Neil Muir
I started as a seven year Apprentice for a Parks Department on the London\Kent borders. Going to college one day a week and working in the varied Victorian parks, gardens and nurseries five days a week.
After this I worked for many large estates and became Head Gardener in different locations. However with the growing use of pesticides and herbicides I went back to University, primarily to study Conservation and Ecology, but relevant to the now growing organic movement in the UK. After 28 years in Horticulture due to an accident I was informed I could no longer do the physical work involved and was retired. I love supporting the Great British Gardens we have in our small island, and cooking the traditional food of this Country. My hobbies are listening to bagpipe music, steam trains and model making, plus of course gardening.

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
Great! Ridesredmule Aug 13, 2010 3:12 PM 15
Yummm! Seray Apr 6, 2010 11:43 AM 2
Nearly as good as mine. sarahmuir Apr 5, 2010 7:26 AM 2
Thanks again Neil kareoke Apr 1, 2010 9:23 AM 1

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