This adventure into Yorkshire pudding casseroles was almost the easiest casserole ever! The recipe is from a 1957 Pillsbury national bake-off via Becky’s Mrs City Boy blog. The year is dear to my heart as well as the Yorkshire pudding. When my Mom made the pudding for supper we were all fighting over the last remains. This casserole takes it to new levels!
So the idea of adding a layer of meatballs under the Yorkshire pudding sounded too fabulous to pass by. Instead of the ground beef used in the original recipe, I used a lightly spiced Italian sausage. The pudding is rather bland in itself and the gravy for the casserole was a simple white cream one. The meat needed to stand out a bit more than good ole ground beef.
I also would never use a dry onion soup mix in a recipe as this one called for. The msg in packaged soups doesn’t agree with my family. I simply added a few things to the meatballs and we were good to go.
I mixed the 1 ½ pounds of sausage with some panko, an egg, some Parmesan, an egg, salt and pepper. I mixed it well with my fingers, as I’ve found that’s just the easiest way to get it all evenly distributed. There are other ways but I stick to the tried and true finger method!
I used a small cookie scoop to form the balls and placed them in the well-sprayed 9×13-in baking dish in neat little rows.
The pudding mixed up fast with dry ingredients whisked into one bowl and the wet beaten in a second bowl. The directions were to beat the eggs, milk and melted butter until “foamy” but that was confusing. Eggs get foamy almost immediately. I kept beating and scraping the bottom and sides to get the butter off of the bowl for about 2 minutes.
I added the dry mixture and beat again for about a minute, until it was smooth. Again I scraped the sides and bottom with a scraper to make sure the butter was playing well with the rest of the ingredients.
I poured the batter over the meatballs and slid the pan into the oven. I set the timer for 45 minutes, and checked doneness from there. I try to err on the side of raw, then watch it closely. I’m pretty sure my oven runs true but even the size of a baking dish can make a big difference in baking time.
The original recipe called for a 12×8-in baking dish and Beck used an 8×11-in dish. She wondered in her blog if he hadn’t meant a 9×13-in dish since it did fill the dish so well. I simply used the 9×13-in dish because I didn’t want it to mess up my impeccably clean oven. But in doing so I knew the timing might need to be adjusted.
While the pudding baked I made the gravy. As in a basic roux I melted the butter and stirred in the flour, cooking in for several minutes to cook out the raw flour flavor.
I added the bouillon and milk and stirred until there were no lumps and it thickened.
I taste tested for seasoning, adding generous amounts of salt and pepper since I hadn’t earlier, and let the gravy simmer on very low heat until the casserole was done.
I thought the casserole was delicious. It was a bit dense but that is the nature of Yorkshire pudding. It didn’t rise as much as I’d have expected and I wondered at that but will be making this more often and will see if I have any different results. Perhaps the puffiness isn’t as drastic with the addition of meatballs? Otherwise, this was a great dish for dinner and would be fabulous to wake up to for breakfast as well!
Yorkshire Meatball Casserole with Gravy
1-1/2 lbs ground beef (I used a mild Italian sausage)
1/4 panko crumbs
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1/4 cup green onion; chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoon melted butter or margarine
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3 tablespoon flour
1 beef bouillon cube
2-1/2 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350°F
Combine meatball ingredients in a bowl using whatever method works best for you. I used my fingers.
Form into meatballs using a scoop or spoon and place in a well-greased 9×13-in baking dish.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl beat melted butter, milk and eggs until frothy (about a minute). Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, scraping sides and bottom occasionally to make sure butter is incorporated.
Pour batter into baking dish over the meatballs. Bake for 50-60 minutes until puffy and golden.
Melt butter and bouillon cube in a skillet over medium heat. Add flour and stir until the flour is cooked, about 2 minutes. Add milk slowly, stirring until thickened with each addition. Remove from heat and spoon gravy over servings of the casserole.
Approx 6 servings
Adapted from Mrs. City Boy