Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Popover for Some Yorkshire Pudding with Make-Ahead Gravy
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...In my world it's impossible to serve a rib roast without Yorkshire Pudding on the side. I suspect my family would abandon me on a dessert island if I even tried. Fortunately, the pudding is simple to make and comes together quickly. It's made with the same batter that's used for popovers, and I'm always amazed that a handful of ingredients can produce such airy golden towers. Years ago, I followed English custom and made the pudding in a single large baking dish. That worked while the children were small, but as their appetites grew, the pudding disappeared before everyone at the table was fed. At that point, I switched to popover pans so every member of the family could have their own to nap or drown with gravy as they saw fit. The individual puddings are a visual delight and the trick to their towering, gnarly height is three-fold. First, the batter must sit so the gluten in it has a chance to relax. Second, the initial temperature at which they cook must be high. Third, while the temperature is manipulated as they cook, the oven door must not be opened till the puddings are done. I guarantee that if you follow the directions in the recipe below, you'll have perfect puddings every time you make them. Because my kitchen is small, I do as much cooking as I can ahead of time. I make gravy the day before the feast, so the mess and last minute stress of getting it to the table becomes a non-issue. I like to use a New Orleans-style roux as the base for the gravy I pass with the puddings. It has wonderful flavor and I think you'll agree it's worth the time and watchful eye it takes to make. Here are the two recipes I used for our Christmas in February feast.
Yorkshire Pudding...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of The Best Recipes for Holiday Baking
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup (5-oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1) Several hours or a day before baking, whisk eggs and milk in a large bowl until well-combined, about 20 seconds.
2) Whisk flour and salt in a medium bowl and add to egg mixture, stirring just until incorporated - mixture will still be lumpy. Add melted butter and whisk until batter is bubbly and smooth, about 30 seconds. Cover batter with clear wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Bring batter to room temperature before proceeding.
3) When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Move an oven rack to lowest possible position. Measure 1/2 teaspoon oil into each cup of a popover pan. Place pan in oven for 10 minutes.
4) Stir room temperature batter and pour into a 4 cup measure. Working quickly, remove pan from oven and pour an equal amount of batter into each of the 6 cups.
5) Return pan to oven and bake for 20 minutes, without opening oven door. Lower heat to 350 degrees F and bake 15 to 18 minutes longer or until popovers are golden brown all over. Remove from oven. Invert pan onto a wire rack and cool 2 to 3 minutes before serving. Yield: 6 servings.
Make-Ahead Gravy...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups beef stock
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine butter and flour in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to blend. Cook, stirring, constantly, to make a dark brown roux, about 12 to 15 minutes. It took 45 minutes for my roux to turn a dark brown. Stir in stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes. At end of 20 minutes, my sauce was still very thin. I returned pot to high heat and brought sauce to a boil, stirring until it was reduced by half and coated a spoon, about 20 minutes longer. When desired consistency is reached, remove from heat and keep warm, or allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Reheat and thin as necessary when needed. Yield: 2 to 3 cups.
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