Monday, 8 August 2011

Speckled Egg and more

I haven't seen a speckled egg like this one in ever so long - I was about to crack it to make the batter for dinner, but then I thought I'd take a photo!

Mrs Robin's tail is growing in nicely. She's still moulting, though - as she was sitting on the wall early I could see a little breast feather blow off and drift away in the wind.

This bud is the yellow flower that looks a bit like a daisy. I still haven't looked through my flower books to try to identify it - it's got quite a fleshy stem. There's beautiful colour in the nigella seed-heads, too.

I can't think how long it is since I last baked this - ten years or more. I'd totally forgotten about it till I came across it again recently looking through the cookery book (Ronald Johnson's  The American Table). Last week I thought I'd asked the butcher for one piece of striploin that would do a stir-fry, but I discovered that he must have mis-heard: when I got home there was a large piece of sirloin, enough for the stir-fry and then a good bit left over. Just the right amount for this:

Colonial Beef Steak Pudding  (serves 4)

2 tblsp vegetable oil
1 lb boneless beef, cut into small bite-sized pieces
1 chopped onion
1 tblsp flour
1 cup beef stock,
2 tblsp tomato purée, 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and pepper - I add thyme

2/3 cup sliced mushroooms - we're not mushroom fans, I use carrots
2 tbslp oil or beef dripping
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 eggs

Heat 2 tbslp oil quite hot, and brown the steak in batches. Add the second batch back to the pan, add the onion and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for another few minutes. Add the stock, tomato purée and Worcestershire Sauce, carrots and seasoning to taste. Bring to the boil, reduce hit and simmer over a very low heat uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours, till the meat is tender. If it dries out too much add a little more water, but the aim is that at the end of the cooking time there should be very little liquid left.
Heat the oven to 450F, 230C, Gas Mark 8.
Heat the oil or dripping in a 1 1/2 quart casserole, with at least 2"  sides.
When the oil is really hot, pour in the batter and then drop spoonfuls of the steak mixture over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes till the pudding is puffed and brown.
My recollection is that I used to do this in a soufflé type dish, so that's what I used tonight, but I think it would have been better in a wider, shallower dish. Certainly when we used to have toad--in-the-hole my mother used a roasting tin, partially cooking the sausages and then pouring the batter over. We used to have it with sugar - that seems strange to me know. But Yorkshire pudding is good to me almost any way it comes, and essentially that's what this is, except that I use milk and water mixed for Yorkshire puddings.

1 comment :

  1. Mrs. Robin must be very happy to have her tail growing back so nicely. I watch Kirby when he preens himself during molting and it always amazes me at the amount of fluff that these little guys produce. Your recipe sounds delicious though I don't think I've ever had a savory pudding.