Queen's Birthday Special - Ye Olde English Favourites


In honour of Her Majesty's official birthday holiday, try these ye olde English favourites.

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Puddings

For the Yorkshire puddings:
350g plain flour
4 large free-range eggs
800ml/ milk (you may not need all of it)
vegetable oil, for cooking

For the beef:
2.5kg beef wing rib roast
1 tab English mustard powder
2 tsp duck fat
freshly ground black pepper

For the roast potatoes:
16 medium-sized peeled, cut into equal-sized pieces
8 garlic cloves
5 tab duck fat
8 sprigs thyme
sea salt, to taste

For the gravy:
pan-roasting juices
350ml red wine

First make the Yorkshire pudding batter. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl, add the eggs and gradually whisk in enough milk to make a smooth batter thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Cover and leave to rest for six hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 190c.  Take the beef out of the fridge and allow it to come back to room temperature.

Mix the mustard powder with a few teaspoons of water to make a paste. Rub the beef all over with the mustard paste and season well with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil or duck fat in a large frying pan. When hot, add the beef and sear on all sides, until it is nicely brown all over.

Place the beef in a roasting tin and roast in the oven for one hour (11 minutes per 450g - this will give you rare meat). Cook for a further 15 minutes for medium-rare (14 minutes per 450g) or a further 30 minutes for well-done (16 minutes per 450g).

While the beef is cooking, prepare the roast potatoes. Peel the potatoes and parboil them in salted water for about seven minutes until almost cooked (they will still feel firm when pierced with a knife). Drain thoroughly and then shake them around a little in the colander until the outsides are fluffy.

Remove the beef from the oven, transfer it to a carving board and cover with foil. Allow it to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes. Turn up the oven to 220c.

Put the duck fat for the roast potatoes into a small roasting tin and heat in the oven for five minutes. Add the potatoes to the tin with the garlic cloves, thyme and some sea salt and toss them around until well coated in the fat. Return the tin to the oven and roast for 30-35 minutes or so until golden and crunchy.

Next make the Yorkshire puddings. Pour 5mm of vegetable oil into the well of each Yorkshire pudding tin - eight individual ones or two four-hole trays. Place the tins in the oven to heat for a few minutes.

When the oil is hot, remove from the oven. Give the Yorkshire batter a stir and carefully pour it into the tins. Take care, as the oil may splatter. Fill each well up to about halfway.

Place the tins back in the oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes alongside the roast potatoes, until they are well risen and golden.

While the potatoes and Yorkshire puddings are in the oven, make the gravy. Place the tin with its roasting juices on the hob over a medium heat. Stir in the flour and the red wine. Scrape well to get all the bits from the bottom of the tin into the gravy. Leave to simmer for ten minutes, then season.

To serve, carve the beef into thick slices and pile on plates with the Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes. Pour lashings of gravy over the top.


Steak & Kidney Pie

50g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
250g Swiss brown mushrooms
1 kilo steak & kidney
2 tablespoons plain flour, seasoned
2 garlic cloves, chopped
330ml bottle stout (such as Guinness)
1½ cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked, plus extra leaves to garnish
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons HP sauce (optional), plus extra to serve
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
375g block frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Melt butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a flameproof casserole over medium heat. Cook onions, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes or until softened. Remove onion mixture and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Toss steak and kidneys in the flour. Cook, in batches, for 2-3 minutes to seal on all sides. Set aside.

Return onion to the pan. Add stout, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 8-10 minutes until reduced by half.

Add stock, herbs, tomato paste and some salt and pepper, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low. Partially cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender.

Remove meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon, discarding bay leaves, then simmer sauce over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups. Stir in HP sauce and parsley, return meat and vegetables to pan, then allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Roll out pastry on a floured surface until 5mm thick. Cut a 1cm strip of pastry that will fit around the rims of two 1-litre pie dishes. Use a pie dish as a template to cut pastry lids 1cm larger than the dishes.

Divide the pie mixture among dishes. Press pastry strips around pie dish rims and brush with water. Sit pastry lids on top and trim excess. Seal edges with a fork and brush with egg. Top with thyme sprigs, then bake for 25 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve with HP sauce, if using.


Bangers and mash with red onion gravy

800g potatoes, peeled, chopped
½ cup milk, warmed
30g butter, melted
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 Peppered English Pork sausages
1 large red onion, cut into thick wedges
¼ cup salt-reduced traditional gravy powder
⅓ cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Place potato in a saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Boil for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Return to pan over low heat. Toss for 1 minute or until excess liquid has evaporated. Add milk and butter. Mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add sausages. Cook, turning, until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Cover to keep warm.

Return pan to medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 8 minutes or until softened. Add gravy powder. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until combined. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in combined wine and stock. Return to heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens slightly.

Divide mash among plates. Top with sausages, gravy and parsley. Serve.

Knights Meats