Traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
If you live in the UK or have spent time there, you may well share many of the same feelings towards this Sunday ritual and understand why, if your Mum’s special roast isn’t on hand, you’d search the whole of London, down every alley, in every pub, to find a meal that could compare. But it’s not just the meal, it’s the memories made while you help with the prep, the debates and laughs had around that well-worn kitchen table or when lazing on the couch afterwards watching the rugby, wishing you didn’t have to head back into town with the Sunday blues on your back.
Everyone has their own version of Sunday lunch and this is mine. Make this recipe a few times for friends and family and you may be surprised by how many conversations can be had about Yorkshire pudding, from how Aunt Betty or Jamie Oliver makes theirs to the sequence in which this golden, battered goodness should be eaten on your plate. But one thing is for sure, if you haven’t tasted a Yorkshire, you are in for such a treat! Smother it in gravy, let it soak up those delicious juices on your plate and enjoy every bite.
Serves: 6–8 | Prep: 20 minutes | Cook: approximately 45 minutes
For the beef
1kg top rump or topside of beef
Salt and pepper
600ml liquid: wine or stock or a mix of the two
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter
For the Yorkshire pudding
1 tsp salt
Oil or beef dripping
2 tsp wholegrain mustard or 2 Tbsp horseradish sauce (optional)
For the veggies:
Roast veggies always work well and you can pretty much roast any veggies you have on hand. Parsnips, peppers, carrots, onions and a few cloves of garlic. If you can’t live without your roast potatoes, here is our favourite way to cook them.
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. To prepare the roast, place your meat in the centre of a roasting pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and pop in the hot oven for 15–20 minutes. After this time, turn the oven down to 170°C. Roast for 10 minutes per 500g for rare, 15 minutes per 500g for well done. Note that these times are for beef which is at room temperature. If the beef is cooler (i.e. you’ve taken it out of the fridge), you may have to adjust cooking times. In an ideal world, you’ll always remember to take the meat out of the fridge a while before you start on your roast and a meat thermometer can also help achieve your meat’s potential. Just be wary of over-cooking it.
3. While your beef is roasting, start on your Yorkshire puds. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the salt. Make a well in the centre, crack in the eggs and whisk in the milk. Pour into a jug and allow to sit for a while as the roast cooks.
4. Now is also the time to prepare your veggies and potatoes (what’s a traditional roast without them?). For the veggies, cut them all up (think peppers, carrots, parsnips) and place them in a roasting tray, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned well. Pop them in the oven and they should be done when your meat is cooked to perfection. For a lighter take, go for a green salad.
5. When the roast is done, remove the meat from the oven and place on a carving board. Cover with foil to hold in the heat and let it rest for a while. Keep those delicious roasting pan juices – you’ll need them for the gravy.
6. Turn the oven up to 220°C.
7. Pour 1 tsp of oil or beef dripping into a 12 hole muffin tin or a few tablespoons into a 20 x 20cm square tin. Place in the oven for 2 minutes to get your tin super hot. Open the oven door and pour the Yorkshire mixture into the muffin holes – quickly pop the door closed again.
8. Bake until golden brown and puffed up (15–20 minutes for a muffin tin, 25–30 minutes for a square tin). Even if the Yorkshires look golden, leave them in for as long as you are happy to so that they crisp up.
9. While the Yorkshires are cooking, make the gravy. Place the roasting pan from the beef joint on the hob. Using a whisk, loosen all the juicy bits from the base of the tin. Add a knob of butter and flour and whisk in. Pour in your choice of liquid (either wine or stock or both combined adding up to 600ml), whisking continuously. Allow to cook for a few minutes so the alcohol burns off.
And you’re ready. Carve your meat thinly and serve immediately with your perfect Yorkshire puds and gravy.
So, what are your plans this Sunday? How are you creating those memories helped along by food, friends and family?