and a posh roast beef … can you tell i’ve been reading a lot of jamie oliver cookbooks lately? well i have. that and a sale on a really nice roast at the grocery store along with a little ambition led to our Sunday supper of roast beef (with tons of veggies and fresh herbs) and my very first batch of Yorkshire puddings. the puddings were, surprisingly to me, rather easy to make. the only thing that would have set me back – if not for a monumental effort towards self control – is the “not opening the oven AT ALL” during the duration of its baking time thing. see, i’m a chronic oven-opener. when i bake something, i ALWAYS, without fail, open the oven repeatedly to look at what i’m baking. and i know i’m not supposed to do that. i know it lets vital heat escape and makes my baking time much longer than it usually would be if i’d just keep the damn thing closed, but i often can’t stop myself from peeking. it’s becoming a problem, it really is. but i really wanted these puddings to turn out nice and fluffy and tall and not deflated and gross, so i just about tied my hands together to keep from opening the oven. and they came out beautiful and crusty and fluffy … and my house was redolent with the aroma of sage, rosemary, and thyme. a Sunday is great to begin with but when you’ve got those smells going on too, that makes it even better.
Perfect Roast Beef and Yorkshire Puddings
both recipes from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution
You Need (for the Beef):
a nice roast of beef (mine was like 3 lbs and it came already tied up with cooking twine)
a couple medium onions, rough chopped into large pieces
a couple large carrots, rough chopped into largeish pieces
celery stalks, rough chopped
a bulb of garlic, cloves separated but it’s cool if you leave the skins on
an array of fresh herbs: i used sage leaves, fresh thyme, rosemary sprigs, and bay leaves
heat the oven to 475. arrange your vegetables, garlic, and herbs in a large roasting pan. drizzle with olive oil and toss together. rub some olive oil all over your beef. rub in some salt and pepper. set the roast on top of the veg. set into the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 400. check on the roast once in awhile and baste with the juices that collect in the bottom of the pan. if the pan looks dry part way through, add some water to keep the veg from burning. continue roasting until the beef is done to your desired level of doneness. we eat our beef pretty rare here so i think mine cooked for about an hour. maybe a little bit over. use a meat thermometer to check out your temps. there should be a guide to doneness right on the thermometer.
1 cup flour
a large pinch salt
1 1/4 cups milk
mix all the ingredients together until smooth and transfer to something you can pour it out of, like a pitcher. i used a large mason jar because i only had weird plastic pitchers without pour spouts. it’s called improvisation, people. let the batter rest for about 30 minutes. when your roast is out of the oven and resting, heat the oven back to 475. place a muffin tin on a large cookie sheet and set it in the oven while it is preheating. when you’re ready to make the puddings, pull out the tin, fill each hole with 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil (i used canola) and set it back in the oven for about 5 minutes (the oil will get really hot). now, being VERY CAREFUL, slide the shelf with the tin and cookie sheet on it out. pour in your pudding batter (i almost filled my cups to the tops and ended up with 2 leftover muffin spots open in my tin). slide the shelf back in and quickly close the oven door. DON’T OPEN THE OVEN for the puddings’ 15 minutes of cooking time. Jamie’s recipe states you can cook it for 15 minutes if you want the insides to be a little soft, or cook it for a bit longer if you want it crisp throughout. i did the 15 minutes and they were just wonderful. Serve immediately with your roast.
cooking music: i put my Neko Case collection on shuffle on my ipod …