“And God bless us, everyone!” -Tiny Tim exclaims in A Christmas Carol
Christmas is always a special time in our house. It starts December 1st when we put up our tree, watching It’s a Wonderful Life as we decorate, and ringing in the season with fondue, antipasti and a special bottle of wine. We reminisce about Christmases past and share happy memories from our childhoods – the foods, the gifts, the CHOCOLATE!
We’re having a very proper English Family Christmas Dinner this year, revisiting the cuisine of Adam’s teenage years in Merry Olde London, by feasting on juicy roast beef and savory Yorkshires (you, too, can be in the know with hip Brit speak and just drop the pudding part). This great celebrated tradition of Holiday Roast (the English do love their beef) would not be complete without Yorkshire pudding, which is not a pudding at all but a cross between a popover and a soufflé cooked in beef drippings. There must be potatoes, of course, served with the beef’s au jus and some roasted winter veggies, too. And mulled wine. Sounds divine, doesn’t it?
And afterwards, with bellies full and hearts happy, we’ll curl up by the fire, toast our health and the day and I’ll fall asleep listening to the one I completely adore reading the most perfect story (by Dickens!), after one of the greatest meals on earth. Hooray for Christmas! The best day of the year!
Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding
For the beef:
- 5 pounds beef roast, like semi-boneless rib roast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
For the pudding:
- 1-1/4 cups milk
- 4 eggs
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- A few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons beef drippings from the roast
- Sprinkle the entire surface of the roast with the salt. Place on a rack set in a large roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, for 24 hours. Let the beef stand at room temperature for one hour before roasting.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, pepper, rosemary and garlic powder. Rub the beef all over with the oil mixture. Return the beef to the rack and roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 125 degrees for medium-rare, about 60 to 70 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. (Allow the beef to rest for 15 minutes, loosely covered with foil before carving.) Meanwhile, make the pudding batter.
- In a blender, combine the milk, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and sugar and process for 30 seconds. Add the flour and blend for another 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the blender, if needed. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. When the beef is cooked, transfer it to a carving board or platter, loosely cover with aluminum foil and let rest while you bake the puddings. Crank the oven to 450 degrees.
- Take 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the bottom of the roasting pan and evenly distribute in a 6-cup popover pan. Place the pan in the oven and heat for 5 minutes. Remove the pan and pour the batter ¾ full in each well of your smoking hot pan. Bake until the pudding is puffed and golden, about 20 minutes. Don’t open the oven or your puddings will deflate. Serve the puddings immediately with the roast.
…from the Picture-Perfect kitchen:
Planning: You will need to start the roast a day ahead since it requires an overnight dry brine, which really brings out the flavor and moisture of the beef. And don’t sweat the Yorkshires. They’re not so delicate that they’ll deflate the second you pull them out of the oven. In fact, they retain their shape very well for several plus minutes thanks to the eggy batter, but should be served hot from the oven. No popover pan? Just use the roasting pan for one big pudding instead.
Product Purity: I bought an oven-ready (already tied) 5 pound semi-boneless rib roast (huge wow factor) but you can substitute another roast, if desired. Your cooking time will vary, though.
Presentation: This splurge-worthy stunning centerpiece is so totally worth the money. Bring fancy back to your Christmas table this year with this spectacular menu–break out the good china, the pretty goblets. I like to serve the Yorkshires on my small red cake stand for a little height for visual interest and, of course, to create drama!