It’s a winter Sunday. Get your work done before sundown. Chuck a couple of logs on the fire and lock up for the night. You’ve got your book. You’ve got your bottle of McKallen’s. You’ve got a case of Samuel Smith Winter Ale. The cat’s taken up permanent residence on the heating grate. It’s nice and cozy inside. You wouldn’t open the front door for Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes. Yep, it’s time to make a Yorkshire Pudding.
Get the ingredients. You’ll need:
- 2 Cups of flour
- 2 Cups of milk
- A macho-sized pinch of salt
- 4 eggs
1 Stick¾ Stick of lightbutter
- 1 Bottle of red wine
- Torquamada’s Guide to Whisking
- 1 Clairvoyant
- 1 Jane Austin novel.
Two hours before diner, start reading the Jane Austin novel. I like Pride and Prejudice, myself. You’re about to embark on very English diner. You’ve got to have the right mind-set. If you pull it off right, you’ll be sipping an after-diner Scotch in front of Masterpiece Theater.
The wine is important. You’re cooking beef. It’s brutally cold outside. Get a serious wine. Get a merlot or a pinot noir. Settle for a cab sav, if you have to. But make it a good cab sav. Open it, let it breath. Drink about half of it. Save the other half for diner.
Heat the oven to
425 385 degrees. Melt the butter in a deep glass dish.
Say, 9 x 11. You want the dish hot when you add the batter, so start with
melting the butter. The narrower and deeper the dish, the more puddin’ier
it’ll be. The wider and shallower the dish, the lighter it’ll be. It’s
your supper, you make the call.
Now, some of us here at Deep Water Acres don’t worry so much about cholesterol. They’ll say, use lard. Hey, if you want to use lard, it’s your arteries. Take your glass of wine and drink a toast to plaque. Just don’t come crying to me when the surgeon wants to stuff a balloon up your heart. I use light butter. Of course, if you’re going to use margarine, make the wine a Gallo blush and eat the Yorkshire Pudding with a couple of cold McDonald’s cheeseburgers. Clear?
The wine should be kicking in about now, so mix the flour and milk gradually. Gently beat. Lumps are the enemy. Find them. Destroy them. They like to hide on the side of the bowl. But you’re sentient, which makes you smarter than lumps of milky flour. So don’t let them get away.
Once you’ve hunted down the lumps, add the eggs. Add the salt. If your the kind of yo-yo art-goon who subscribes to Martha Stuart’s Living, you can add in things like nutmeg, clove, ginger, or chocolate chips at this point. On the other hand, if you read Martha Stuart’s Living, what the hell are you doing with a copy of Deep Water? Spice the veggies or make a zowie desert, but leave the Yorkshire Pudding alone. That’s this chef’s advice.
Now, this is important. Put down the wine glass and concentrate. Show no mercy to a Yorkshire Pudding. Beat it to hell. Then beat it some more. If you don’t, you’ll get scrambled eggs in flour. Yummy. Set the mixer on Lethal Frappe, and frappe it’s ass off. Frappe it for maybe four or five minutes. The smoother and airier the batter the better.
The minute you’ve finished beating the shit out of the batter, add
it to the melted butter. You’re probably drunk at this point, so be sure
to use hot pads or pot holders. That glass dish has been sitting in an oven
425 385. You don’t want to enjoy diner from the Burn Unit. Smooth the batter
around the pan so it’s all even. It’s pretty liquid, so you should have
no trouble in this department.
Once you’ve got it in the oven, DON’T OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. It’ll flop. Yep, you’ll be a drunk cook looking at a flopped Yorkshire Pudding. Loved ones will find you sobbing on the linoleum floor. Don’t go clog dancing in the kitchen, either. Trend gently. I mean it. Cook it for 20 minutes, then pull it out. Serve immediately.
This is where the clairvoyant comes in to the picture. You can count on the Yorkshire Pudding to be done in 20 minutes. The meat will be done when it wants to be done. If it’s roast beef, it’ll will never be done. Accept it. The thing is, you’ve got to serve the Yorkshire Pudding immediately. It’s at its peak the minute you pull it out, and it diminishes with each second that passes from that point on. Time is of the essence. You can’t let it cook much longer than 20 minutes. You’ve got to hit the timing right. No tips there. Say a prayer to Jane Austin and do your best.