What Did The Connollys Have For Dinner Last Night? Beef Strip Loin Roast with Magical Yorkshire Pudding Cupcakes, Heirloom Tomato Salad

Because "What's for dinner?" is the most important question most of us answer every day.

Beef Strip Loin Roast with Magical Yorkshire Pudding Cupcakes, Heirloom Tomato Salad

If you've noticed heirloom tomato salad cropping up a lot lately, yes, I did buy a huge bushel of these suckers at Costco, and yes, I am getting a wee bit sick of them.

I was inspired to make this meal because it's so freakin' cold outside and I'm finally realizing that winter's not going to go away. In fact, it's 9 degrees outside right now. 9! Today's what I like to call "squeaky cold." The snow is so frozen it's almost like walking on glass grains and you get the urge to roast something big mostly so you can toy with the idea of climbing into the oven alongside your dinner.

I tried a new technique for roasting the meat this time--namely, I cooked it for about two hours at a ridiculously low 225 degrees until it reached an internal temprature of 123, then I took the meat out and rested it while I cranked the oven to 500. When the oven was blazing hot I put the roast back in for 10 minutes to crisp the outside. I first saw this technique on Alton Brown's Good Eats and it's designed to ensure even cooking, a rare interior and a nice crust. (I believe he cooks the meat in a flower pot or something foolish like that, but I see through his gimmicks to the good sense underneath.)

I think the idea of slow roasting at the outset and then finishing in a hot oven is sound, but, as is typical around here, I got tied up changing a diaper and the meat got slightly overdone. This didn't upset me too much though since the meat, the salad, the wine and everything else on the table last night was merely there to garnish these gorgeous Yorkshire pudding cupcakes.

I mean, look at those things! They're magic! No. Seriously. When I call Yorkshire Pudding Cupcakes magic, I'm not exaggerating. I really and truly don't understand how these badboys work. I mean, you take flour, salt, eggs, milk and fat and combine them and you somehow get something that does... THIS!

How does that happen? Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't flour, milk, salt and eggs basically the ingredients for pancake batter? So how can a single batter produce both flat cakes and inflatable clouds of beefy goodness?

I've made these cupcake things four or five times now and every time I slide the tray into the oven I'm tortured by misgivings. Anxiously, I turn the oven light on and monitor the puddings for any signs of rising. Then, when, inevitably, the crusty tops start to tremble and gain height I run and find Joy and tell her, "It's working! They're rising!"

Obviously, my unbridled pudding outbursts only serve to cement Joy's opinion that I'm a nutcase, but how could anyone fail to be excited by creating something so awesome as a Yorkshire pudding cupcake? There are certain things that just don't seem like you should be able to cook them yourself. Gyros are a good example of this. So are crackers. Could you make your own crackers? I suppose so. But you'd know you were toying with forces beyond your control. I made a loaf of gyro once. Once. It was pretty good, but I felt like I was playing God.

But among the subset of Cookable Things That Seem Like You Shouldn't Be Able To Cook Them Yourself, Yorkshire pudding cupcakes are fairly manageable. Some day, when I'm feeling quite brave, I'm going to make Yorkshire pudding cupcakes... without an accompanying beef roast! That's right. I said it! I think I'm going to poke little chunks of brie in there and serve them with a spinach salad. Am I flying too close to the sun? Perhaps. But at least I'll go out with a nice tan.

To make magical Yorkshire pudding cupcakes yourself you will need...

steely resolve
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pan drippings from a roast beef

Heat your oven to 500 degrees. Divide the pan drippings evenly among the cupcake cups and slide the tray into the oven to get scorching hot. Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl and beat the eggs and milk in another. Unite the two mixtures until just incorporated then remove the hot cupcake tin from the oven. Working quickly, pour an even amount of batter into each cupcake cup and slide the tray into the oven. (To achieve the mushroom cloud effect where the puddings bloom right up out of the pan, fill each tin almost to the very top.) Turn on the oven light and watch nervously to see if the puddings are rising. Curse yourself for your hubris until about the 10 minute mark when, what's this? It's working! Dear God it's working! Run and find your sig other and embrace him or her shouting, "They're rising! They're rising!" Serve hot.


Chappy93 said...

On the days you don't have beef fat, you can just use melted butter.
and then you call them Popovers.
and you can put cheese in em.
and they cure hangovers.

so yeah, make those too, k?

Ethan Davis said...

I am totally making those magic yorkshire pudding cupcakes. They look friggin' delicious.