Welcome back to our occasional series, “How They Made It,” where we explore the food and drink of Outlander. This time we’re making Yorkshire Pudding to have at family dinner. Slainté!
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Memories of dinners at home
When Lieutenant Foster escorted Claire and Dougal to meet with Lord Thomas, the commanding officer was having a meal with his men. I wonder what was being served along with that roast venison? (Yes, I’m weird that way, always thinking about menus.) Perhaps a version of a traditional English dinner of roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, and brown gravy? Traditional Yorkshire pudding is so quintessentially English, like egg custard or scones with clotted cream and jam. I’m speculating of course, but I think a meal like that would remind the officers of something they missed from home.
Traditional Yorkshire Pudding recipe history
For the uninitiated (that would be me), traditional Yorkshire pudding is a soufflé-like dish made with egg batter cooked in pan drippings left from roasting meat. Versions of Yorkshire pudding, originally called “dripping pudding,” have been around for several centuries. It was made by placing a pan with batter in the hearth underneath spitted meat, catching the fat and juices that dripped from the meat as it cooked. The first printed reference to dripping pudding came in 1737, while Yorkshire pudding was first referenced in a 1747 cookbook (somehow the name was changed, and it stuck).
Now, Yorkshire pudding can be made either in the same large roasting pan the meat was cooked in or another pan (like a 9- x 9-inch baking pan using the pan drippings. More commonly, a Yorkshire pudding recipe is made as individual servings using a dedicated Yorkshire pudding tray or its equivalent (like a popover pan or a standard muffin pan).
Celebrating Hogmanay in Boston
Last month my younger daughter was home for the holidays, and she, together with my older daughter and her husband, came for family dinner. On these special occasions I make a standing rib roast with all the trimmings (or as much as the trimmings as possible). This year the meal happened to fall on New-Year’s-Eve eve, so I decided we were celebrating Hogmanay, Boston-style (no Black Bun this year though). We made Yorkshire pudding and served it alongside the rib roast with au jus, scalloped potatoes, and green beans. It was quite a meal and very yummy…mmmm…pausing to wipe away the drool from the keyboard…ok, I can continue now.
How to make Yorkshire Pudding
The internet has so many recipes for Yorkshire pudding. The one I chose came from the same recipe site I used for the rib roast, What’s Cooking America (yes, I note the irony here, but there’s a lot of info for making a rib roast here, plus recipes for the sides. Don’t judge). Since I needed the roasting pan to make the au jus, I made my Yorkshire pudding in a 9- x 9-inch baking pan. This recipe made the perfect amount for us, but you can double it if you’re feeding a crowd.
First, make the egg batter at least two hours before you’re ready to bake the pudding, and preferably overnight. The flour needs time to fully hydrate, which helps the finished product to be light and puffy.
After the roast comes out of the oven, heat the pan drippings and butter until they’re very hot. Pour the cold batter into the pan; then bake until puffy and golden brown. It’s so easy and quick to make (if you don’t count the resting time, that is).
(Side note: the original recipe called for 1/2 cup of drippings/melted butter, which is what you see here. I’ve since looked at other recipes and decided that 1/4 cup of fat is sufficient. You can decide for yourself how much to use.)
Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding…they go together like peanut butter and jelly
This meal was our version of a traditional English Sunday dinner, roast beef and all. The Yorkshire pudding was lightly eggy, with crispy brown edges and a wonderful flavor that complemented the meat. No wonder it’s the traditional side dish! I’m sure Lord Thomas and his men enjoyed their meal as Claire regaled them with how she came to be in Scotland. Meals make memories, and favorite dishes become traditions. I’d love to hear about yours!
Does your family have a traditional Sunday dinner? What do you serve?
Discovering Outlander after Season 1 first aired, Tammy quickly went down the rabbit-hole on social media and podcasts and found a world of like-minded fans who not only tolerated her obsession, but encouraged the madness! She combined her Outlander-inspired interest for scotch whisky with her continuing passion for baking and storytelling in her blog, Scotch & Scones…Explorations in a glass and in the oven. Joining the staff of Outlander Cast as the resident baker has brought Tammy full circle, from a podcast fan to a contributing writer. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest at @scotch_scones, and find her on Facebook at @scotchandsconesblog.
- 9- × 9-inch baking pan
For the batter
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour, (3¼ oz, 90g)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup milk, at room temperature (2 oz, 56g)
For the Yorkshire Pudding
- ¼ cup pan drippings from cooked roast, or melted butter, see Recipe Notes (2 oz, 56g)
- Prepare the batter: Starting at least two hours before your roast will be ready, sift together the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until light and foamy. Add the flour and stir until just combined and smooth (it will be like a thin pancake batter).
- Cover bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready for use.
- Make the Yorkshire Pudding: After your roast is removed from the oven and resting, increase the oven temperature to 450°F.
- Place the pan in your oven and get the drippings very hot (about 5 minutes). Meanwhile, take the cold batter from the refrigerator and whisk it thoroughly to break down any lumps and add some additional air.
- Carefully remove the hot pan from of the oven…the fat should be almost smoking. Quickly pour the batter over the hot drippings in the pan (if you’re using a Yorkshire Pudding tray, a muffin pan, a or popover pan, fill the wells ? full). The fat should sizzle when you pour the batter.
- Put the pan back in oven and cook until the pudding is puffed and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Do not open the oven door during baking.
- Remove the pudding from the oven, cut into squares, and serve it hot with your roast. Enjoy!