We all know the story of Charles Dicken's, "A CHRISTMAS CAROL". The classic tale of redemption and hope is a story that has been celebrated, adapted and parodied for over a hundred and fifty years. The cast of characters, from Scrooge to Marley's ghost, the three timely ghosts, Nephew Fred, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim are all well known. BUT, if you are a foodie, the hero of the story must be MRS. Cratchit. Bob's long suffering wife had to raise the family almost on her own. After all, The Mister was working 7 days a week, long hours for only 15 "Bob" a week. In all but name only, she was a single parent. And worse yet, the mother of a special needs child. Yet, she fed her family well, and they all looked forward to her culinary creations. And create, the Mrs. Cratchits of the 1800's did.
The Cratchits ate very little meat. It would be a holiday if they had the meat for a week what we eat in a day. Mrs Cratchit was the original "green" steward to the earth. No waste, no tossing that "icky" bag that comes with her turkey. Everything was used from nose to tail. Often, clever uses for the "waste products" created delights. Goose liver became foie gras. Pig intestines become casing for sausages, and before those pigs become the main course, they dig roots out of the ground to find truffles.
And so class, I present another wonderful dish that is only possible if you use the waste product from cooking those original two racks of spareribs... Mrs Cratchit would be proud. This dish has no actual meat from the racks or the "flap meat". Instead, it is a dish made from the fat renderings, the drippings from the ribs...
OK, here's a brief history of Yorkshire pudding... It originated in England (somewhere around Yorkshire I am guessing), during the times of Charles Dickens and "A Christmas Carol". A true Yorkshire Pudding is made from the drippings of a roast, best served with roast beef and gravy. Picture if you will, poor hard working Mrs. Cratchit preparing the Christmas meal. All the family is coming, and she can only afford a small portion of meat. Mrs. Crotchet came up with the idea of saving the drippings from the roast, making gravy from some, but also making a wonderful pudding flavored with the drippings. Mrs. Crotchet, in a world that did not eat the massive amounts of meat we do now, would extend that meat taste with a meat flavored pudding. Despite the name, traditionally, this is served either before the meat arrives at the table, or with it. It is not a dessert. But I like it for breakfast sometimes. True Yorkshire pudding is not made that often anymore. It is a shame, as it tastes great, is easy to make and easily adaptable with all the flavored infused oils out there...
Here's what I did...
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees... yeap, 500 hot degrees...
Assemble the ingredients...
1 egg per serving (this was me and my own Mrs. Crotchet so I used 2 eggs).
1/4 cup Buttermilk per serving (again, 1/2 cup for me and the Mrs.),
1/2 cup of flower (1/4 cup per serving - thought I would mix it up a little to see if you are paying attention).
A dash of salt
1/4 cup pan drippings from the baked spareribs...
Notice that I gave the instructions for 1 person or 2. But, you are smart people. works with 4 eggs, 8 people or more. I have seen HUGE pots of Yorkshire pudding. Works equally well for lots of people.
I stretched the drippings and added a bit of additional flavor with a tablespoon of BBQ sauce.
Beat the eggs
Add the buttermilk and keep beating
add the flower about 1/3rd at a time, mix well so there are no lumps.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Cratchit would have that pan of drippings right at the fire level, her renderings were HOT. You need to get your renderings as hot as possible. Either stovetop of microwave, get it boiling hot.
While it is still HOT HOT HOT, pour the egg mixture into the renderings...
And cook for 17 minutes in that HOT HOT oven (500 degrees).
It comes out of the oven a little bit crispy around the edges, and wonderfully sweet and custard like in the center. It has a hint of the meat flavor, as well as a bit of the BBQ sauce taste.
There is usually a little hot goo left in the bottom of the glass. Go ahead and pour what you can onto the center of the pudding. But avoid the hard burnt stuff at the very bottom.
OK, a Yorkshire pudding tastes AMAZING! More thick custard than pudding, but a little bit of bread look too. But this stuff, with the added taste of the rib meat renderings, paired with just a little bite of BBQ sauce is really something special. It is INCREDIBLE...
And we owe it all to the culinary heroine of "A Christmas Carol"... MRS CATCHIT! Thank you mam.
A brief class summery from the last 7 posts... Spareribs, they make a terrific main course (St. Louis cut).
We also learned that with a Saint Louis cut, we have the advantage of FLAP MEAT, which we use for leftovers. We used that meat for an appetizer (Quesadillas). We also used that miracle bonus meat to ZA ZA ZING up a classic side dish (Pork and Beans). We learned to make a restaurant quality dish, and save a ton of money (Bruschetta). We made a main course dish worth sharing on a night when you are entertaining... Redneck Cupcakes. Yesterday we made Breakfast (Omelets). And today we salute Mrs Cratchit, the original "Green" Chef!
But we are not done yet... Come back tomorrow when we make a salad dressing!
And to all my new Internet friends, I wish you the best of the season. the best family memories, the best food adventures and the best for the coming year. Being accepted in the community means a lot to me, and I thank you for your continued friendship.
And take just a moment to remember those young people who are not where they want to be today. Pray daily for their safe return and that next Christmas will be the homecoming they all deserve.