The holiday season, and special dinner occasions in general, seem to demand Yorkshire pudding, as far as I’m concerned.
As much a pancake batter as anything else, the Yorkie, despite its name, is not really pudding at all.
It has been around since 1700s Britain and I imagine was at one time quite popular, with little surprise, in the Yorkshire region in the northeast of England.
What it is when it’s done cooking is perfect for sopping up juices and gravy from a succulent and festive roast beef.
Oddly though, as noted by the venerable The Joy of Cooking cookbook, Yorkshire pudding was traditionally served as a course before the roast with an onion gravy.
In her book Fat, Jennifer McLagan adds that leftover Yorkie “reappeared at the end of the meal sweetened with golden syrup, jam, or sugar.” I have never experienced leftovers when making Yorkshire pudding, however.
It may also be used for the other popular Yorkshire dish, toad-in-the-hole, according to some sources.
The key to a great Yorkie is a good solid few tablespoons of beef drippings and a rocking hot oven that permits the simple batter of flour, water, milk and eggs to puff up majestically.
McLagan’s recipe is simple and foolproof and doesn’t require the effort of working with the traditional muffin tins.
I drop the batter into my big black cast iron pan, smoking hot, and the result is a glorious, no-fuss Yorkie to be cut into slices.
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Andrew Coppolino is a Kitchener-based
food writer and broadcaster.
Visit him at waterlooregioneats.com.
Watch for his column next week, as he counts down Kitchener’s 12 favourite
meals for 2012.