07 November, 2011

Sunday Dinner, Brit Style!

Most people that know me are aware that it doesn't take much exposure to a certain food before I decide I am going to make at home for myself.  Or at least attempt to make it.  While I was watching an episode of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares I saw a dude pull something out of the oven that looked like a "popover".  When this guy plated one of them with a slab of beef roast and some potatoes then put some gravy on ALL of it I thought "That dude is toast...Ramsay is gonna rip him a new one for putting gravy on his popover."  Silly Amanda...  The scene went on to Ramsay eating this plate of food and commenting that the "...Yorkshire Pudding was absolutely *bleepity bleeping* beautiful (that's just Ramsay's way...)."  My brain went NUTS!  Yorkshire Pudding...what the....??  

I was immediately combing through my old cookbooks...the older the better.  I came across plenty of recipes for both Yorkshire Pudding and Popovers.  Wanna know the difference??  Pan drippings.  Yep, that's it.  Either way, I decided I was going to make those and see if I liked them.  They looked like a big fat, puffy muffin shaped croissant.  Who doesn't like a croissant?  

In 5 minutes I had my menu decided; Bangers & Mash with Yorkshire Pudding and Caramelized Onion Gravy.  *kisses fingers*  Brilliant!  I've only had bangers & mash one time in my life, but how hard could it be to mash some potatoes and cook some English sausages??  Not hard at all.  So lets get started.

Yorkshire Pudding
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. flour
1 1/4 c. soy milk
1/2 c. water
2 tsp fresh cracked pepper 
1 tsp. sea salt
meat drippings or fried onion grease

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

In a glass measuring cup combine your soy milk and water, then set it aside. 

Place a sieve over a large mixing bowl and sift in your flour; holding the sieve high above the bowl to give the flour a good airing on its way into the bowl.  Add the salt and pepper.  Then, with the back of a tablespoon, make a well in the center of the flour and break the eggs into it.

 Begin whisking the eggs, as you do the flour mixture will begin to fall into the eggs little by little.  Whisk vigorously until completely combined.  When it becomes stiff, add in the water mixture in 1/4 c. increments completely combining between each addition.  Repeat until you run out of water mixture and batter is nice a smooth.

At this point the batter is ready to use, but everywhere I read about making Yorkshire Pudding people say a good rule is to let the batter rest, some people said overnight.  I let my batter rest 30 minutes, but do what is convenient for you.

Pour 1 teaspoon of  your drippings into each well of your pudding pan.  I used a 12 well cupcake pan.  The best option really is a 6 well jumbo muffin tin, but I couldn't find mine.  *sigh*  Either way, at the very least make sure that however large or small the pan is that the drippings cover the bottom of each well.  If the drippings aren't piping hot, slide the pan in the oven for a moment or two, then take it out and quickly put your pudding batter in.  Fill each well about 1/3 of the way.  Shove the pan in the oven and DO NOT OPEN IT until your timer goes off.  After 10 minutes turn the heat DOWN to 325 degrees and bake another 10 minutes OR when they are golden brown.  Don't freak out when you remove them from the oven and the middle of each pudding falls; that is supposed to happen.

 *Part of my reasoning for allowing the batter to rest was that I needed to make my bangers, set those aside and brown my sweet onion in the banger grease so I had proper, FABULOUS drippings for my pudding pan.

Speaking of bangers...  I bought mine from Farm Boy.  I threw a couple tablespoons of oil into a large skillet and rolled each twin of bangers around in the oil a bit, covered them and let the pan do the rest.  I turned them when I figured they had a nice browned bottom; about 5 minutes.

Mashed Potatoes
18 baby white potatoes, quartered
3 c. unsalted vegetable stock
3 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. goat yogurt
1/4 c. Earth Balance vegan buttery spread

This is pretty easy.  Make yourself some mashed potatoes.  Some people like 'em instant, some people I know use potato pearls and there are purists that will only eat their mashed 'tatoes the old fashioned way.  Boiled and then whip butter and milk into them.  Do what your family likes best.  I boiled my potatoes in a half and half mix of water and vegetable stock.  It is an easy way to add an extra flavor element to your potatoes that doesn't cost you an extra second in the kitchen.  When they are done boiling drain the liquid out and turn them into a mixing bowl.  Add the butter and yogurt at the same time.  Then beat the livin' daylights out of them with your hand mixer.  Done.

Onion Gravy
1 large sweet onion
3 T. Earth Balance vegan buttery spread
2 tsp. organic cane sugar, optional
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
3 c. beef stock
4 tsp. corn starch
4 tsp. cold water
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Chop your onion in half between the fuzzy ends.  Remove the outer skins on each half.  Now toss them into the banger pan with the butter.  Let them fry for a while over medium heat to get some onion into the meat drippings.  If you need a little help getting enough drippings toss a couple tablespoons of beef stock in with the onion at this point.  This is the point that you would spoon out your drippings for your Yorkshire Puddings.  Now, to turn this into a gravy.  Toss in your sugar and balsamic now.  Let that cook until it reduces and becomes thicker.  This intensifies the sweet flavor and gives the onions a deeper dimension of flavor from the balsamic.  Once reduced...somewhere between the thickness of maple syrup and molasses...add your beef stock to the frying pan.  

Let this broth cook for 5 minutes before thickening.  This allows everything to really "marry" in the pan.  Add your salt and pepper now.  If your liquid isn't boiling already, turn the heat up until it is at a light boil.  Last, in a glass measuring cup mix together your corn starch and water.  Pour into your boiling liquid through a small handheld strainer if you have one...no one likes lumpy gravy...  Let it boil just long enough to thicken, making sure your gravy doesn't look "cloudy".  "Cloudy" means that the corn starch isn't done thickening yet.  Once it has thickened remove from heat and serve over your mash and bangers.  You can either drizzle some over the Yorkshires OR pour some into a small dipping bowl and let people tear and dip their puddings.  Our Sprout preferred the latter method of dipping.

I hope that you enjoy this meal as much as my family and I did last night.  I won't lie...unless you make just 6 jumbo sized Yorkshires, you're gonna have a lot of them left over.  But, we just turned around and ate them for breakfast.  I reheated them at 250 for 3 minutes in my oven and served them with a leftover banger and a scrambled egg with organic maple syrup drizzled on the puddings.  Everyone seemed to enjoy that a great deal.  I know I did, I didn't taste pepper in the pudding at all either; it was a pleasant surprise.

 Left overs are always a breeze if you think about what is in what is left.  Another GREAT use of these would be bread pudding!  Yummo!  Be creative and let me know if you tried this and liked it as much as we did.  I'm always looking to try new things, so if you have any ideas or suggestions pass them on!


  1. Thanks for stopping by on my SITS day! I love the recipes, they look simple enough so maybe I can try to give them a whirl.

  2. Okay, that looks fantastic! I think it looks completely "man" approved too!! Stopping by from SITS!

  3. That looks really good!! I'd try that for sure.

  4. Thanks SO much for the love ladies! They ARE easy to make and yummly too! Come on back down to the Foodnatic starting December 1st for my "12 Days of Christmas Cookies" series!! If you like what you see, tell all your friends. All the cookies will be dairy free and organic; even some of them vegan!! They can all be converted back quite easily. Depending on how much traffic I can get here, I will post bonus recipes for dairy free, organic and vegan things like marshmallows, caramels, barks... What a Christmas this will be!! Thanks again for stopping by! =)

  5. I've never had that. I will have to try it

  6. I ate Sunday dinner once at the Ritz in London - my first and last exposure to the meal you're outlining here. But maybe I'll have to give it a go myself. In an evening gown!

  7. Please DO Christa! It isn't hard at all and I would love to hear from someone who has had "the real McCoy"...comparatively speaking. Thanks so much for stopping by! I appreciate it! =)