By Leigh O’Connor.
For centuries, no good roast of beef has been served without a side of Yorkshire pudding, it simply isn’t British!
An ideal accompaniment to tender, pink slices of melt in the mouth meat – these delicacies can be traced back to the early 18thCentury when a recipe for dripping pudding first appeared in a cookbook titled ‘The Whole Duty of a Woman.’
Since then, the little puff balls of light batter have become a staple of English fare and have travelled the globe to weave their magic in many cultures and countries.
Head Chef at Chef hatted, The Terrace Restaurant, nestled in All Saints Estate’s castle in Wahgunyah, Simon Arkless considers himself well qualified to impart his knowledge on the best pudding recipe.
While not a native of Yorkshire – he was born 10 miles North of the county border in Durham – you could say he grew up with them, as his Father was a huge fan and cooked said puddings at least three times a week.
"I did scratch my head though when putting pen to paper as my late Father would never measure any of the ingredients, it was just done by eye and thickness of the batter after being beaten on the trusty mixer.
"I tend to do the same now, but have come up with a recipe that works really well," he explains.
Sharing his tips for the best Yorkshire pudding, Simon has some words of wisdom for home cooks. Key points to remember are to leave the batter to rest for at least an hour before using and don’t be tempted to give it a quick whisk before cooking.
His recipe uses beef dripping in the pudding tins, although vegetable oil can be substituted, but the fat needs to be smoking hot before the batter is poured in and the oven door needs to be shut as fast as possible so they rise well.
While puddings don’t always rise to the same degree, don’t open the door and turn the tins as puddings can collapse if not set properly when hot air escapes the oven.
Simon is one of a new breed of Chefs who strive to source the freshest and closest ingredients for their kitchen. His philosophy is to offer guests at The Terrace full flavour dishes created with local produce, plating up the likes of roast fillet of Lakes Entrance duck fish with grilled scampi and squid ink pasta.
When not enjoying time off with his family, Simon hits the kitchen; always creating new dishes or perfecting recipes with a vision to make The Terrace the number one dining experience in North Victoria.
For more British fare to recreate at home, check out our recipe section here.