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How To Make Yorkshire Pudding

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Not sure what to make of Yorkshire pudding? This English holiday classic is basically a savory baked pancake that works well for sopping up the juices of roasted meat -- particularly roast beef, says chef Katherine Polenz of The Culinary Institute of America. The ratio for the batter is very straightforward: 4 ounces each of eggs, milk, flour, and water, all whisked together. After letting the runny batter rest for 20 minutes, it's poured into a hot cast iron pan along with the fatty juices from the roast to create a meaty, deeply flavored pudding. Once the batter has been poured into the pan, it's baked at 400F for 20-30 minutes. If you like your pudding to have a soft, custard-like texture, you can remove it after 30 minutes. If you prefer it more firm, turn the oven down to 325F and cook it for an additional 20 minutes. When it's done, tear or cut pieces from the pudding and serve alongside your roasted meat.

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chef Katherine Polenz from the Culinary Institute of America, and today I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to make Yorkshire pudding.

Yorkshire pudding is something that can be sort of intimidating, I guess. It's a dish that is commonly served at the holiday times. It's an English tradition, and one that usually accompanies a good piece of roasted meat, usually beef. It's actually quite simple in its ingredients. This particular recipe comes to me from a British colleague: four eggs, four ounces of flour, four ounces of milk and four ounces of water. That makes it really easy!

I'm going to turn the pan on. I think in its most traditional sense, Yorkshire pudding is done right in the pan the meat is roasted in. I'm going to use a cast iron skillet. You could use an oven-safe frying pan; that would work as well. The trick is that you're going to take some of the fatty juices from the roast, which is what I have here in this dish, because the fatty juices from the beef are what's really critical in the flavor profile of good Yorkshire pudding. They actually want to come up in heat until there's almost a haze coming off the pan.

While that's happening, I'm going to make my batter. I'll start by putting my four eggs into a dish, and I'll whisk the eggs. At this point I'm going to put a little bit of salt in, because that actually helps with the breaking down of the eggs - not to mention seasoning for the Yorkshire pudding. I'm going to add the milk, four ounces of whole milk, and then the flour. You don't want to add the flour all at one time; you want to work it in in stages. It'll look a little lumpy; that's okay, just keep beating it. It will eventually smooth out some. There should actually be a resting period for this batter, anywhere from five minutes to fifteen or twenty minutes. You could make the batter well ahead of time and have it just sitting on the kitchen counter when it's time for you to do the Yorkshire pudding. Now I'm putting in the four ounces of water, and I'm going to whisk that. Now I have a nice and smooth, but very runny, batter. At this point I'll let this batter rest for about twenty minutes.

The batter's rested for about twenty minutes so I'm going to give it one last whisk, to try to get out any last-minute lumps and bumps. You can see that my pan has gotten quite hot; I've got a little bit of a haze coming up off the pan. I'm going to make sure I have the fat evenly distributed in the pan, and at this point you want the heat very hot. What you're looking for in this preheated fat is that when the batter goes in, it's going to immediately start to bubble, and it starts to actually form the beginning of the Yorkshire pudding. At this point I'm going to put it into a preheated 400-degree oven for about half an hour. If you like your Yorkshire pudding soft and custard-like in the center, remove it from the oven in about thirty minutes. If you like it drier, lower the heat after the first half hour from 400 to about 325, and then continue cooking for about another twenty minutes.

There it is! You're going to tear a piece of the Yorkshire pudding, or cut a piece delicately with your knife and fork, and sop it in the gravy or the juice that you're having with your roast beef. So the next time you're making roast beef for your friends or family, be sure to put some Yorkshire pudding on your menu.