From Paul Curtis
This is a traditional English
dish served with Roast Beef. It is best when it is hot. It is served as
either one large baked mass broken up into little squares or a fancier
way (such as is served at Simpsons in the Strand in London) is to bake
it separately as a popover.
This requires a special pan with deep cups.
key to this whole thing is heat. The ingredients must be at room temperature
prior to cooking. The pan with the drippings must be 500 degrees Fahrenheit
prior to adding the ingredients. Timing is crucial as the mix must be
well beaten and aerated. If there are any variations to this practice
then the pudding may not rise. I
have encountered friendly differences of opinion in this matter. However,
this is what I find works best.
Depending on the cut of beef, you might ask the
butcher for some suet to produce more drippings.
For traditional method, use a shallow roasting
or broiler pan Do not use a turkey roaster. It's too deep.
Be sure to set your oven racks to the right height
prior to starting.
About two to three hours before serving time,
depending on the time of year (no
more than 1 hour in the summer time as ingredients may spoil quickly if
left out too long) remove milk and eggs from the refrigerator and leave
to warm to room temperature. Be sure to crack eggs and leave out in a
Just prior to the last 20 minutes of cooking the
roast beef to your liking, remove it from the oven and place it on a plate
or platter. Reserve about half of the drippings for gravy. As for the
other half, this will be the drippings used to bake the pudding in.
If you are going to bake the pudding in the traditional
way, then leave about 1/8 to 1/4-inch layer of drippings in the bottom
of the roasting pan while reserving the rest for gravy.
Set the oven to 500 degrees then put the pan back
in for a few minutes while you begin mixing the pudding.
In a good mixing bowl, add the flour. Make a sort
of well in the middle.
Add the eggs, and beat them in.
Then, add the milk and salt. Now, beat vigorously
with a whisk for several minutes so as to well aerate the mixture. (You
may want to
save a little bit of the blood from the beef as it is waiting on the plate
to add to the hot pan prior to adding the mix. To get the beef to drain
a little blood, cut a small slice.)
When the mix has bubbles throughout, remove the
hot pan from the oven
Quickly add the little bit of blood and then the
pudding mix, pouring quickly and evenly throughout the pan.
Place a rack on top of the roasting pan and put
the beef on the rack and place
in the oven for the remaining twenty minutes.
For the popover method, follow the same procedure but, simply add the
drippings to each cup. Fill the individual cups up about 1/3 of the way
with the mix. You can also simply add the drippings to a plain old baking
pan and cook it that way too. Just remember, whatever way you choose,
heat is paramount.
Serve with the beef gravy.