Yorkshire pudding with parkin spiced beef, white chocolate mash and cocoa red wine gravy
This is a great starter or if doubled up, or more! Depending on appetite!
May be served as a main with the usual roast potatoes and buttered seasonal vegetables. Opening a restaurant in Leeds, this recipe and spicing seemed apt to include on our menu.
For the parkin spiced beef:
- 100g treacle
- 50g water
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 400g beef flank
For the Yorkshire puddings:
- 2 eggs
- 150ml whole milk
- 110ml water
- 150g plain flour
- 20g cocoa nibs, broken to size of a rice grain
- beef dripping or sunflower oil
For the mash:
- 500g hot plain mashed potatoes
- 100ml whole milk
- 100g white chocolate chopped into nut size pieces
- 100g unsalted butter
For the gravy:
- 3 shallots peeled and roughly chopped
- 25g tomato puree
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 10g caster sugar
- 200ml red wine
- 250ml beef stock
- 50g chopped 65% chocolate
For the parkin spiced beef:
- Mix the treacle, water and spices together well.
- Pour the mix into a re-sealable bag, big enough to hold the flank steak. Add the flank steak and re-seal. Give the bag a good shake to allow the meat to be fully covered.
- Place on a tray and leave in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Turn the bag and meat over 4 times during this time.
- Heat a large cast iron frying pan on high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the steak with salt. Place steak in hot pan. Let sear for 2 to 3 minutes until well browned. Use tongs to lift up to see if nicely browned. If so, flip to the other side and let sear for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let the steak continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes in the residual heat of the pan.
- Use your fingertips to check for doneness or insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak - 48C for very rare, 50C for rare, or 56C for medium rare. Flank steak should be served rare or medium rare, otherwise it may be too dry.
- Remove the steak from the pan to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes, covered with aluminum foil.
- Cut the meat in very thin slices, at an angle, against the grain of the meat. (This way you break through the tough long muscle fibers.)
For the Yorkshire puddings:
- Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk for 5 minutes. Beat in the milk and water.
- Add the flour into the egg mix. Starting in the centre of the bowl slowly whisk the flour to make a batter. Add the cocoa nibs. When fully incorporated cover with cling film and leave to rest in the refrigerator for half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 220C.
- Put a tablespoon of sunflower oil or beef dripping into 6 Yorkshire pudding moulds, place on a baking tray, easier and safer for handling. Now place this in the oven for 5 minutes to allow the oil to get hot.
- During this time take out the batter mix, add a pinch of salt and whisk again for 30 seconds.
- Carefully remove the baking tray with the Yorkshire pudding moulds from the oven. The oil should be hot, so take care.
- Add the batter up to 2/3 full into each mould.
- Return to the oven and bake until golden and risen. This should be around 12-15 minutes. Remove from moulds. They can now be left to cool and reheated through the oven when needed at a temperature of 190C for 3 minutes.
For the white chocolate mash:
- Boil the potatoes for around 25 minutes or until soft.
- Place the hot mashed potato in a large mixing bowl.
- Beat in the white chocolate ensuring all the chocolate has melted. Beat in the remaining ingredients until smooth.
- Add a pinch of table salt to taste.
For the gravy:
- In a saucepan add a tablespoon of sunflower oil. Over medium heat place the shallots in the saucepan with the oil. Gently cook the shallots until soft and tender, around 5 minutes. Do not colour the shallots.
- Add the tomato puree and the rosemary. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove the rosemary. Add the red wine then reduce to about two thirds the volume.
- Add the beef stock and again reduce, this time slowly and until it coats the back of a tablespoon. Add the chopped chocolate and allow to dissolve. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve.
To assemble the dish:
- On a large plate add a tablespoon of white chocolate mash, this will keep the pudding standing upright.
- Add some of the white chocolate mash into the centre of the Yorkshire Pudding
- Add the sliced beef on top and sit onto the mash on the plate.
- Pour over a little of the red wine cocoa sauce, put the rest of the sauce in a gravy jug so people may help themselves. Garnish the beef with a sprig of watercress.
Notes to help you get the most out of your cocoa and chocolate.
Depending on the kind of cocoa you use, how much you use and how you use it, cocoa and chocolate will have a different effect on the taste and experience of your dishes. In each of our recipes, we’ll tell you how much influence it will have, in our cocoa notes:
Low – a subtle hint, playing a bass note in the harmony of flavours.
Medium – a rich interplay of cocoa with other leading ingredients.
High – cocoa starring role.
The Character of Cocoa
The flavour of cocoa and the chocolate it produces varies depending on where the cocoa is grown. Different growing regions have different personalities, each pairing well with other ingredients.
Fruit-led flavours, refreshing in the mouth – perfect with fruits, dark meats and game.
Saint Lucia, Trinidad, Java
Complex and multi-layered flavours jostling for position. Goes with pork, chicken and wines.
Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Peru, Ecuador
Roasted flavours, led by mellow notes of roasted nuts. Ideal with fish, eggs and desserts.
Demystifying Cocoa Percentages
The percentages used on chocolate labels can sometimes seem a bit confusing. A 40% milk chocolate, for example, is not made with 40% milk. The percentage always refers to the amount of cocoa used in the recipe, and the rest will either be all sugar (darks) or milk and sugar (milks/whites).
You’ll find higher percentages in dark chocolate recipes, with less in milk, and least in white. Surprisingly, one of the UK’s most famous dark chocolates contains just 39% cocoa, and its milk counterpart only 23%. That means the largest ingredient overall is sugar. We believe this is wrong. We always prefer to use more cocoa in our chocolate for an authentic and satisfying cocoa hit. We put 40 – 70% cocoa in our milk and Supermilk chocolate, and 70-100% in our dark.
Our white chocolate has a much higher cocoa percentage than average, at 36%.
Sugar only costs a tenth of the price of even the cheapest cocoa beans, so it’s no wonder that it is tempting for low – quality makers to use so much of it. But in the world of fine chocolate, deciding on whether to use, say 73% or 75% cocoa in a recipe is the chocolatier’s choice and depends on the quality, character and flavour profile of the bean harvest. In many ways, deciding the cocoa percentage is like deciding the alcohol level in a good wine.
How To Melt Your Chocolate
In a Bain-Marie (recommended)
This traditional method offers a great deal of control. Put your chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn’t actually touch the hot water (or it can burn the chocolate). Heat in the steam for about 2 minutes until fully melted, stirring occasionally.
In a Microwave
Put your chocolate in the microwave on high power for a total of 40-50 seconds, but only in 10 second bursts, stirring in between to ensure it doesn’t burn. Stop when fully melted.
Essential Cocoa Nib Know-How
Knowing how to extract the best flavours from your cocoa nibs is essential to many of our recipes. It’s easy to buy cocoa nibs these days, but they can be of variable quality. Follow our tips below to make sure you get the most flavour possible from your nibs.
Awakening your Nibs
Often your nibs will have a silver grey hue to them as they have oxidised around the outside. This is harmless, but we recommend you grind them vigorously in a pestle and mortar for 30 seconds. You’ll see the nibs turn a gorgeous mahogany brown, their amazing flavour and aroma awoken at the same time.
Soak them in Water
After awakening, the nibs may still be hard and flinty. Soak them in a little hot water (just enough to cover them) for about 20 minutes which will soften them, the soaking liquid can be set aside as a flavoursome stock.
Storing your Nibs
Just like coffee, roasted nibs should be kept in an airtight container. If you are able to source ‘just roasted’ nibs or have made your own, you can freeze them in an airtight container until needed, retaining maximum flavour.
- preparation time: 60 mins
- cooking time: 40 mins
- ease of preparation: Easy
- serves: 6