Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

The North may claim it for its own but all over Britain this is recognised as a traditional dish, especially for Sunday lunch time. Using semi-skimmed instead of whole milk will produce the same effect as using half milk and half water in the Yorkshire pudding. Keep the meat warm, resting under a tent of foil, until you are ready to carve it.


serves 4 - 8
sirloin, rib, rump or topside
25 g (1 oz) beef drippings (optional)
salt and pepper
5 ml (1 tsp) mustard powder (optional)
Prepared English mustard or horseradish sauce, to serve

for the yorkshire pudding

100 g (4 oz) plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
200 ml (7 floz) fresh milk
For the gravy
10 ml (2 tsp) plain flour
300 ml (1/2 pint) beef stock


1. Weigh the meat and calculate the cooking time: for rare beef allow 15 minutes per 450 g (l lb) plus 15 minutes; for medium beef allow 20 minutes per 450 g (1 lb) plus 20 minutes; and for well-done beef allow 25 minutes per 450 g (l lb) plus 25 minutes. Put the meat into a shallow roasting tin, preferably on a roasting rack, with the thickest layer of fat uppermost and the cut sides exposed to the heat. Add drippings if the meat is lean. Season the meat with pepper and mustard powder, if wished.

2. Roast at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for the calculated time, basting occasionally with the juices from the tin. Forty-five minutes before the end of the cooking time, cover the joint with foil and place on the bottom shelf of the oven. increase the oven temperature to 220°C (425°F) mark 7.

3. To make the Yorkshire pudding, mix the flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl, then make a well in the centre and break in the egg.

4. Add half the milk and, using a wooden spoon, gradually work in the flour. Beat the mixture until it is smooth, then add the remaining milk and 100 ml
(3 fl oz) water. Beat until well mixed and the surface is covered with tiny bubbles.

5. Put 30 ml (2 tbsp) fat from the beef into a baking tin and place in the oven at 220°C (425°F) mark 7 until the fat is very hot.

6. Pour in the batter and return to the oven to cook for 40-45 minutes, until risen and golden brown. Do not open the oven door for 30 minutes.

7. After 30 minutes, transfer the cooked meat to a warmed serving plate and leave to rest for 20 minutes, covered, before carving.

8. To make the gravy, the meat juices alone may be used. For a thicker gravy, skim some of the fat from the surface and place the tin over moderate heat. Sprinkle the flour into the tin and stir it into the pan juices, scraping up the brown sediment. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until the flour has browned slightly. (When the meat is carved, any juices from the meat can be added to the gravy.) Add up to 300 ml (1/2 pint) of beef stock to the tin and stir well. Bring it to the boil, simmer for 2-3 minutes and season to taste. Pour into a sauce boat or jug.

9. Serve the carved beef with the Yorkshire pudding, cut into portions. Accompany with the gravy and mustard or horseradish sauce.

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