Friday, January 24, 2014

Yorkshire pudding

Batter puddings have a long history throughout Britain. Out of these Yorkshire puddings is decidedly very popular all over the UK. You will see these listed on the menu in a pub or restaurant. It is a light batter made of eggs, flour and milk that rises when baked. In pubs, you will see large ones that rise at the edges to form a sort of bowl. These can be filled with anything from sausages and beans, to soup or stew, even sweet. Traditionally, smaller Yorkshire puds are served with roast beef, as an accompaniment with horseradish sauce and onion gravy, roast spuds, and veggies. 
I had an opportunity to try these in London last summer where a Yorkshire pudding bowl was served filled with Faggots in gravy. What are faggots you ask? Well, these are old-fashioned meatballs, traditionally made from pork. Birmingham and the Midlands are considered the home of Faggots in Britain, but with the revival of Faggots, they are now eaten all over the UK.
I served these mini Yorkshire puds with lamb meatballs dipped in the mushroom sauce alongside mushy peas and carrots. You can use any meat you like for the faggots and use any gravy you fancy. 

Mini Yorkshire puddings hot out of the oven
Yorkshire Puddings 
The single most important thing to remember about these is that the fat must be sizzling hot before you begin cooking and never get tempted to open the oven door in the middle of cooking or you will get flat puddings.  
Ingredients: (12 mini Yorkies)
3 eggs
1 cup plain flour
1 cup milk

  1. Mix all the ingredients well in a small jug to make a smooth batter. Season with salt and cracked black pepper. Leave it at room temperature for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  2. When all other parts of your dinner are almost ready, preheat the oven to 475°F. Spray the muffin tin liberally with vegetable oil and put this in the oven as well (10 minutes). The oil and the container should be smoking hot before adding the batter.
  3. When hot carefully remove the muffin tin and ladle in the batter, evenly dividing into the 12 muffin cups. If the batter doesn't sizzle when you add the first spoonful, then put the tin back into the oven till it does.
  4. Cook the Yorkies for 15-20 minutes till well risen and golden. Keep an eye on them towards the end of cooking time and don't be tempted to open the oven door until they turn golden because as soon as you take them out they will start to sink. 
  5. Remove from oven and transfer on to a platter. Working quickly fill them with the faggots and mushroom sauce (recipe below) and serve immediately.   
Lamb meatballs (Faggots)
This is not the traditional faggots recipe. I made regular meatballs using lamb and flavoring it the way I like.  
Ingredients: (makes 12-15)
1 lb minced lamb
1 egg 
1/2 large red onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic grated
Handful chopped fresh coriander
1/2 tsp dry thyme
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Red chili flakes as per your spice quotient
1-2 tbsp breadcrumbs to bind the mixture
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 
  2. Mix all the ingredients together until well blended. Shape them into small balls.
  3. Place them on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes till brown and cooked through. 
Mushroom sauce
1 tbsp butter
1/2 lb button mushrooms (sliced)
1 tsp grated garlic
1 tsp flour
1 cup warm whole milk (or more depending on the desired consistency)
salt and cracked black pepper
pinch nutmeg
  1. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms and let them cook without disturbing at high heat for 2-3 minutes till they brown on one side. 
  2. Turn over, add grated garlic and repeat. When perfectly brown add 1 tsp flour and reduce heat. Cook stirring for 30-40 seconds to roast the flour without browning it too much. 
  3. Now add the warm milk while vigorously stirring to avoid forming any lumps. Make a smooth sauce. Bring to a gentle boil and adjust the consistency by boiling off excess if thin or adding more milk if too thick. 
  4. Take off the heat and season with salt, cracked black pepper, and nutmeg.
  5. Add the prepared meatballs to the sauce and fold to combine. Serve over the Yorkshire puddings.      

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