When you move across the world like I did, even to a country that is similar it really is surprising how different the food is. When we first arrived in Illinois and went grocery shopping there were clearly going to be some gaping holes in the pantry. The first thing I had to locate was some decent tea. It turned out that Tetley sold British tea in Dominicks our large supermarket chain and it’s pretty decent tasting, since finding it, I don’t bother buying anything else.
The things I could not find were bangers (sausages), Heinz Baked Beans, back bacon,Cornish pasties, flavored crisps (chips), nice chocolate, and for the kids fishcakes or alphabet potatoes. Actually this is only a sampling of the items we used to eat and needed to find a replacement for. Kids are fussy eaters, I had one who was awful, if it didn’t look the same he would not touch it.
So what do you do. Enter the world of online ordering and compromise. It wasn’t long before we stumbled across Long Grove, a nearby town that has a store called British Accents. Yippee they had bacon and sausages. The bacon and bangers come from a butcher in Chicago so the price was good. Baked beans were expensive but American beans are so loaded with sugar I cannot eat them, my husband likes them. Would you believe I now order my beans from Amazon.com! Every 3 months I get 24 cans and the shipping is free, not bad.
Every now and then I get a craving for a good old English meal. Whether it’s Toad in the Hole ( Bangers in Yorkshire Pudding), or a full blown English Roast Beef dinner, I have just about managed to find everything I need to conjure it up. Sometimes I’ll have to make the entire thing from scratch, no packets for shortcuts.
Yorkshire Puddings eh, sounds like desert right? No, it’s actually a batter based savory dish. It’s used as an accompaniment to roast beef and to make Toad in The Hole. They are best made from scratch and cooking them is an art but once you know how it’s easy.
You’ll need the following to make 12.
A non stick 12 muffin pan.
3 oz plain flour
3 fl oz milk
2 fl oz water
salt and fresh milled pepper-just a pinch of each
2 tablespoons beef dripping (veg oil will do)
Pre-heat oven to 425F
Sift flour into a bowl and make a well in center. Break egg into center and beat gradually incorporating it into the flour and adding milk, water and seasoning as you go. You’ll end up with a batter like mixture (like pancakes).
Add a little beef dripping, lard, or oil to each muffin cup-please do not use paper cups, your puddings will stick, they are not like cakes. Put the muffin pan in the oven to heat the oil, this is critical and contributes to the success of the Yorkshires. Once the fat is hot remove from oven and pour an equal amount of batter into each cup. Place into oven for 20 minutes until puddings are risen and crispy.
Serve with beef sausages or roast beef. Now here’s the tricky part. You must cook at a high heat, you must not open oven during cooking, your timing for serving is critical. If you have 2 ovens it’s a breeze, if not cook while your roast is out and resting.
Of course my son eats these on their own but they taste fabulous with beef, and a little beef gravy. I hope you try them and enjoy.