Talk about perfect timing. Veganuary has wilted and died, the floodgates have opened on January’s drought, and a Sunday Roast is just around the corner. What’s more, National Yorkshire Pudding Day falls on the 3rd February this year and guess what? That’s a Sunday, too. This stuff just writes itself. A nice joint of roast beef, a full bodied Bordeaux with generous amounts of tannin, and some cracking yorkies, then. As the kids say, it would be rude not to. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL steps to the perfect Yorkshire pudding.

BASIC BATTER CAN’T BE BETTERED

With a Yorkshire Pudding, there really is no need to get fancy with the recipe. The pleasure of the dish is in its versatility; a textural delight of crispy roof and chewy, squidgy base, and the perfect vehicle for gravy. Once you start adding thyme, mustard powder, even black pepper, the quiet, no-nonsense majesty of the pudding is lost. Remain faithful to traditional batter recipes and you won’t go wrong; that’s matching your milk (and water, if you favour a crispier, drier texture) to your eggs in fluid ml, and about three quarters that amount in flour. Confused? 3 eggs (coming in at 175ml), 125ml of flour, 150ml of milk and 25ml water should do the trick. Of course, a little salt is needed.

REST & RELAXATION

It’s undisputed by chefs and scientists alike that the best yorkies have been made with batter well rested in the fridge before cooking. This leads to a far more significant rise, all round better texture – both exterior and interior – and more complex taste, make no mistake. If you have the foresight and time, making your batter the day before; letting it rest overnight will bring brilliant results and is definitely worth the extra effort.

DRIPPING WITH DRIPPING

You’re going to need oil, so why not use a fat with heaps of flavour which will complement both the yorkie and the overall flavour of the dinner? Seeing as we’re talking roast beef, using beef dripping makes perfect sense; a teaspoon or two’s worth per individual tray compartment is grand. Dreamy.

SMOKIN’ HOT TIN, SMOKIN’ HOT FAT, SMOKIN’ HOT OVEN

You’ll want your oven preheated to 200°C well in advance, and your tray with the beef fat added also in the oven getting hot ahead of time too; ten minutes should be enough. By making sure that all elements are up to temperature, you’ll be getting energy into your batter as soon as it hits the pan, allowing for an even rise, and preventing your Yorkie mix from sticking to the pan.

Whether or not the batter is cold or warm isn’t as relevant as some recipes make out, with only minor differences in texture noticeable. What is important is not to burn yourself. Simply give your rested batter a final whisk, decant it into a pouring jug, slide the oven shelf holding your smoking hot tin gently out and pour in your batter to two-thirds height. This allows the Yorkshire pud’ room to rise.

GOOD GRAVY AND LOTS OF IT

A Yorkshire pudding without gravy is a tragic scene indeed. An incomplete, almost inedible eating experience. The risen bowl shape you’ve been working so hard to achieve is made for pouring gravy in to. Make sure, then, that there’s ample amounts of the good stuff.

Image: Yorkshire pudding | by dalecruse Yorkshire pudding