I used to cook from Joy of Cooking
back in the '60s-'80s before they invented this new fangled thing called the Internet. It's difficult to comprehend the dearth of information in that era, where you either got recipes from family and friends or cookbooks. Joy of Cooking
would certainly go on the list of top 10 best classic cookbooks, along with Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking
along with Julia's other books. I hope you have all seen Dan Akroyd's skit on SNL playing Julia.
Becker is Rombauer's daughter and I think the first edition dates back to the '30s. It was THE BIBLE for many decades.
I first encountered Yorkshire pudding back in the early '70s when I got my first apartment and there was an English themed restaurant called Talk of the Valley
(this being the San Fernando Vally, sometimes portrayed by Hollywood, and also the porn movie capital of the world in that era). Talk of the Valley
served a mean prime rib roast, and I mean big and thick and juicy and rare, and with Yorkshire pudding as I described which was I died and went to heaven, then came back for another bite and died again, and yet back for more rib and pudding! OMFG those were the days!!!
I guess probably the best way to make it is if you could let the rib roast drip on the pudding but that seems impractical to me. I think the most practical way is to save the juices from one rib roast and then use them next time to make the pudding, and save that time's juices for the next.
The dough starts out sort of like a flat bread of sorts, and you swirl in the roast drippings and maybe spread it a bit so it is a bit thicker near the edge. After cooking it is never the same, there are always higher and lower areas but the crust is by design thicker at the edges and not at all uniform, which gives a pleasing hand made appearance. I think the word is rustic!
It was only when Talk of the Valley
went out of business that I started fiddling my own recipe. The way they served it, juices swirled into the batter before cooking that I thought was so delicious, and that's what I aimed to copy when I made my own. And I did succeed! It was delicious! I think a large Pyrex pie dish is the ideal vessel, and make enough to quarter it for 4 servings, or hex it so some guests can have a modest piece and people like me can have seconds! The usual dimensions were about 1 to 1-1/2 inches at the edge and a half inch or so in the middle.
I suppose a beef gravy package mix could make a second rate Yorkshire pudding that would be almost as good. I think I'll experiment with that.
OMFG that reminds me of the story of my ne'er do well friend Tom who had excellent drinking skills (mostly beer) and avoided work whenever possible (which was entirely possible considering his Bachelor of Arts degree from CSUN which qualified him for absolutely no real life job). He was working at a copy store when we met, but his parents died, and he and sis split their wealth. Over the next decade or so Tom was content to lollygag around and pretend he was looking for a job. I often paid him to do odd jobs around my house.
This one time the job was painting the (only) bathroom in my 3BR '50s house, and I promised him the best dinner he ever had after the paint was drying. I bought a 3-1/2 pound prime rib roast (2 bones) and cooked it to perfection and served it with Yorkshire pudding. My Gawd we must have each ate a pound and a quarter or more of meat (subtracting the weight of the bones). Talk about Diamond Jim Brady cut, this was fucking HUGE!!!
I miss tom. He died in his '50s or so from stomach cancer. But don't get the idea the prime rib 'n pudding was the cause. He was a notorious junk head. He never tasted a food he didn't like, fast food, nuke 'n puke, gourmet food, he didn't care, and near the end he admitted he had the impression that a better diet might have prevented his demise.
Tom was a big man, fairly fat, "Dunlop's disease" (your belly done lops over your belt) and a BIG red bushy beard almost ZZ Top category. He had a great sense of humor and his most annoying habit was when I told a joke his Hah!
was so loud it hurt my ears!
These days I have to check with my bank to see if I can get a mortgage on my house in order to afford to buy a prime rib roast.