Ode to a Yorkshire Pudding:
Weston and Lee
Hi waitress, excuse me a minute, now listen,
I’m not finding fault, but here, Miss,
The ‘taters look gradely… the beef is a’reet,
But what kind of pudden is this?
Yorkshire pudden!, now coom, coom, coom, coom,
It’s what? Yorkshire pudden d’ye say!
It’s pudden, I’ll grant you… it’s some sort of pudden,
But not Yorkshire pudden… nay nay!
The real Yorkshire pudden’s a dream in batter,
To make one’s an art, not a trade,
Now listen to me, for I’m going to tell thee,
How t’ first Yorkshire pudden wor made.
A young angel on furlough from heaven,
Came flying above Ilkley Moor,
And this angel, poor thing, got cramp in her wing,
And coom down at owd woman’s door.
The owd woman smiled and said, ‘Ee, it’s an angel,
Well I am surprised to see thee,
I’ve not seen an angel before… but thou ‘rt welcome,
I’ll make thee a nice cup o’ tea.’
The angel said, ‘Ee, thank you kindly, I will’,
Well, she had two or three cups of tea,
Three or four Sally Lunns, and a couple of buns…
Angels eat very lightly you see.
The owd woman looking at clock said, ‘By Gum!
He’s due home from mill is my Dan,
You get on wi’ ye tea, but you must excuse me,
I must make pudden now for t’ owd man.
Then the angel jumped up and said, ‘Gimme the bowl…
Flour and watter and eggs, salt an’ all,
And I’ll show thee how we make puddens in Heaven,
For Peter and Thomas and Paul’.
So t’ owd woman gave her the things, and the angel,
Just pushed back her wings and said. ‘Hush’
Then she tenderly tickled the mixture wi’ t’ spoon,
Like an artist would paint with his brush.
Aye, she mixed up that pudden with Heavenly magic,
She played with her spoon on that dough,
Just like Paderewski would play the piano.
Or Kreisler now deceased would twiddle his bow.
And then it wor done and she put it in t’ oven
She said t’ owd woman, ‘Goodbye’,
Then she flew away leaving the first Yorkshire pudden,
That ever was made… and that’s why…
It melts in the mouth, like the snow in the sunshine,
As light as a maiden’s first kiss,
As soft as the fluff on the breast of a dove…
Not elephant’s leather, like this.
It’s real Yorkshire pudden that makes Yorkshire lassies,
So buxum and broad in the hips,
It’s real Yorkshire pudden that makes Yorkshire cricketers,
Win County championships.
It’s real Yorkshire pudden that gives me my dreams,
Of a real Paradise up above,
Where at the last trump, I’ll queue up for a lump,
Of the real Yorkshire pudden I love.
And there on a cloud… far away from the crowd,
In a real Paradise, not a dud ‘un,
I’ll do nowt for ever… and ever and ever,
But gollup up real Yorkshire pudden.
Anyone who has not grown up in or visited England has no idea what a Yorkshire Pudding is. It is *not* a sweet pudding. It is, in fact, pancake batter cooked in hot fat in a muffin form (to make individual puddings) or in a large square or rectangular baking dish to make one large pudding, which can then be cut up into portions. Sounds disgusting, right? Oh, but you are wrong! It is so, so, so good! It is the perfect accompaniment to any roast meat, although traditionally it is served with roast beef.
I made up some Yorkies (as they are sometimes known) to go with the roast pork and gravy I had leftover from Christmas Eve dinner. This particular recipe I got from the Good Housekeeping Complete British Cookbook (ISBN: 978-1-907892-66-0) and it worked out a treat. The secret to getting nice fluffy puddings is to keep the batter in the fridge long enough for it to get cold and to heat the fat in the baking dish or muffin forms until it is smoking hot.
Ingredients: (makes 12 individual puddings)
- 125g plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 300ml milk
- 2 medium eggs
1. Heat the oven to 220 degrees C. Sift the flour and the salt into a mixing bowl. Mix in half the milk and then add the eggs (mixing in each one well before adding the next) and season with salt and pepper. Beat until smooth. Whisk in the remaining milk. Put the bowl into the fridge.
2. Put a scant teaspoon of fat in each muffin form. I used solidified goose fat, but any baking fat will do, including any fat that has drained off your roast meat. Put the forms into the oven to heat up.
3. When the fat is smoking hot, spoon in the cold batter (filling each form half way). Return the trays to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the puddings are well risen, golden and crisp.
4. Serve with the roast meat, covered with gravy. Enjoy!