When I was a kid, Yorkshire Pudding was a staple side dish in my British-born household, especially at the the holidays. Mom would make the muffin-style Yorkshires and we’d fill them with a spoonful of meat drippings. Definitely not health food.
So when my boyfriend arrived for that first holiday dinner, I wasn’t sure what he’d think of our very English tradition- no rolls, just Yorkshires. I think he gobbled down three or four of them. Dad could see he had to look sharp if he wasn’t going to lose out on the last one. I married that boyfriend and at every holiday dinner he’d spar with dad for the last Yorkshire Pudding. That sparring became a new tradition.
Yorkshire pudding has a colorful history, dating back to the 12th century. It’s believed to have originated in the kitchens of King Henry II. In the village pubs, meat (probably mutton) was dangled on a hook over a cooking fire. A pan underneath caught the meat drippings which were used to cook the Yorkshires, a mixture of flour, salt, eggs, and fresh milk.
The result is sort of like a moist and flavorful popover. Sort of. Trying to describe a Yorkshire pudding to those who haven’t had the pleasure is like trying to describe the color of the sky to a blind man. It’s just not the same.
With the holidays just around the corner, I share our family recipe for Yorkshire Pudding.
4 Large fresh eggs
equal quantity of fresh milk to eggs
same with all purpose flour
pinch of salt
vegetable fat or pan drippings (best if you use Crisco…no, this is not health food.)
Mix the first four ingredients. Consistency should be somewhat like cake batter. Do not overmix. Leave to sit for 30 minutes.
Put a pat of Crisco (about 1 tbsp.) in each muffin hole of the muffin tin pan. You can make one big one in a big cake pan, but there is less fighting if everyone gets their own pudding. And they taste better this way.
Get the oven real hot-450 degrees. When the fat is just smoking, ladle mixture to fill muffin cups to 1/3 full. Bake for about 20 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, but don’t open the oven or they’ll fall.
Serve with just about anything; pot roasts and roast turkey are my family’s favorites. Encourage guests to spoon a dollop of gravy into the cup.