Monday, April 30, 2012

Unwarranted dismissal

There's seldom any point in cooking a roast for one - except if you need to tick gravy (p121) and Yorkshire pudding (p132) off a list of completed recipes!

I got a small rolled beef roast and bunged it in the oven with various veges. Meanwhile, I mixed up the batter for the Yorkshire pudding. It's very like a pancake batter: a simple mixture of flour, salt, egg, milk and water. I mixed these to a smooth batter and put it in the fridge to chill.

An hour later, the meat was looking pretty well cooked, but the veges were nowhere near done. I put the meat aside to rest, transferred the veges to a different dish, and placed the roasting dish on top of an element to heat up the fat and meat juices for my gravy.

I also had to make a start on my yorkshire pudding. This was supposed to be made as a single large pudding in the roasting dish, then cut into pieces. As I was already using the dish for gravy, I elected to make individual puddings in muffin trays instead.

I scooped a small amount of dripping into three sections of the muffin tray (half recipe = 3 puddings). The recipe merely states 'fat'; whether this is also supposed to be run off from the roast or not, I'm not sure - I just got a pottle of dripping from the supermarket. It's possible oil would work too.

The muffin tray then went into the oven for the fat to heat up. When the fat was spitting hot, I poured the batter into the trays and bunged it back into the oven.

The roasting dish soon heat up on the element, and I scattered flour around the dish, stirring it to brown over the heat. Unfortunately, all that happened was the flour soaked up the liqud in the dish and became a thick paste. Undaunted, I proceeded to the next step, gradually adding water and stirring frantically to prevent lumps.

The options for liquid in the gravy recipe were water or stock. I'd chosen water, but my gravy seemed to be a bit flavourless, so I bunged in a bit of beef stock powder to help it along. Before long, my gravy was thick enough, so I seasoned it and poured it into a jug. I hadn't managed to avoid the lumps - what with chunky bits from the roasting dish and lumps from the flour, it was probably the lumpiest gravy I'd ever seen! But it tasted ok, and that's the main thing.

By the time the veges and Yorkshire puds came out of the oven, the gravy was done and the meat was well rested. It had, in fact, turned out to be considerably rarer than I realised when I took it out of the oven. Never mind, that's not the recipe I'm writing about here.

The gravy was good, but you need to either use stock or add plenty of seasoning to prevent it being bland. And use whatever trick you can to keep the lumps out - I certainly don't seem to have any luck with that!

As for the Yorkshire puddings, I'm really taken with these. They're light and fluffy, not nearly as greasy as you might expect from being cooked in fat (actually, most of the fat seems to have stayed behind in the bottom of the muffin tins) and absolutely perfect for soaking up gravy - lumpy or otherwise.

I noticed while perusing the most recent Edmonds edition, that Yorkshire pudding is no longer in the book. I have to admit that had I not been doing this challenge, I probably would have lived my life without ever trying a Yorkshire pudding. Now that I have, I can only wonder why, with far more mediocre recipes to choose from, the publishers have chosen to take this one out.

1 comment:

  1. Try using a whisk instead of your wooden spoon - this should help with the lumps.


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