It is near impossible to re-create the original Yorkshire or dripping pudding of times gone by. We would need a hearth and a large joint of meat suspended on a turning spit jack or bottle jack in front of a roaring fire. The radiant heat and seasoning of the fire in combination with the animal fats give the pudding a unique flavour and texture that is not possible to re-create in a modern electric or gas oven.
You could use lard or tallow instead of sunflower oil to get a slightly more meaty result. It is popular to use cupcake tins to create whimsical individual Yorkshire puds, but I must advise you to try a whole one to share, as it was intended centuries ago. Another great way of serving it is to make a large Yorkshire pudding and to serve the meat and gravy in it as if it were a bowl. The pudding can then suck up all the nice flavours.
I’m sharing with you, below, the original recipe for a Yorkshire pudding; the first time this dripping pudding was named as such. It was, in fact, not a pudding exclusive to the northern region of Yorkshire, as these dripping puddings were being made in many locations throughout Britain.
A Yorkshire Pudding.
Take a Quart of Milk, four Eggs, and a little Salt, make it up into a thick Batter with flour, like a Pancake Batter. You must have a good Piece of Meat at the fire, take a Stew-pan and put some Dripping in, set it on the Fire, when it boils, pour in your Pudding, let it bake on the Fire till you think it is high enough, then turn a plate upside-down in the Dripping-pan, that the Dripping may not be blacked; set your Stew-pan on it under your Meat, and let the Dripping drop on the Pudding, and the Heat of the Fire come to it, to make it of a fine brown. When your Meat is done and set to Table, drain all the Fat from your Pudding, and set it on the Fire again to dry a little; then slide it as dry as you can into a Dish, melt some butter, and pour into a Cup, and set in the Middle of the Pudding. It is an exceeding good pudding, the Gravy of the Meat eats well with it.