English Sunday Dinner

Roast Beef, Gravy, Cabbage and Beans, Roasted Potatoes, Yorkshire Pudding, Leeks in Cheese Sauce

As Josephine Morris, from York, England, taught Lindsay Sterling in New Gloucester, ME.

Note: Beef roast - what cut should you get? In Yorkshire the cut would be called "Oyster." In Josie's words, this is "the top end of the sirloin. It looks round." I'd shoot for a sirloin roast or a prime rib roast here in the U.S. These are the more tender, less fatty cuts that will hold together better in the dry heat of the oven, and allow you to slice it thinly as is the Yorkshire tradition.
Cooking Time: 2-3 hours
Makes: 8 servings


  • 3 lbs. beef Sirloin roast (or 1/3 pound per person)*
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tomato, sliced into wedges
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thirds
  • 1 green pepper, cored and sliced into 4ths
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and sliced into wedges
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 pounds small potatoes for roasting
  • 3 leeks, washed, whites cut into quarters legthwise, then across into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 head small cabbage
  • 1/2 pound green beans, stems trimmed
  • 1 cup + 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 + 1Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup milk + 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 5 small eggs (or 4 large)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • ovenproof roasting pan or iron skillet
  • blender
  • large pot with steamer insert and lid
  • muffin pan for 12-24 muffins depending on size of hole
  • roasting pan
  • medium pot for potatoes
  • carving board
  • fork
  • chef knife
  • tinfoil
  • meat thermometer or skewer
  • couple hot pads


1. Take milk and eggs out of the fridge so they become room temperature.

2. Make the roast. Preheat oven to 350. Season beef roast generously with pepper and salt. In an ovenproof hot pan such as an iron skillet sear roast in a thin bit of oil on the stovetop. Once the meat is browned on all sides add 1 cup red wine, and 1-2 cups beef stock. Then slide roast in the oven. Cook 45 minutes and check internal temp with a meat thermometer. Take the meat out when the internal temp reads 140 degrees. Cover with tinfoil and let rest. (She actually didn't use a thermometer. She just stabbed the roast with a skewer and pulled it out. She said when no blood comes out the hole, it's done.)

3. Start making the gravy. Toss the tomato, carrot, green pepper and onion in olive oil, salt and pepper, pour them into a roasting dish and cook in the oven until soft.

4. Start the potatoes and leeks. Preheat roasting pan or sheet pan (for potatoes) with 3 Tbsp oil in it. In a large pot, cover potatoes with water, bring to a boil, and par cook 5 minutes. Saute leeks in 1 Tbsp butter until soft. Set aside. Drain potatoes, return to pot, and bash the potatoes around in the pot vigorously (to break up the edges making way for the hot oil). Pull the preheated pan out of the oven, and place the potatoes in the hot oil, moving the potatoes around so each is covered all the way with hot oil. Bake until soft throughout and skins are slightly crispy.

5. Steam the veg. Cut cabbage into 1-2 inch pieces, put in a steamer pan with water on the bottom and steam with lid on for 30-40 minutes until soft. (Add green beans to steamer pan with 10 minutes or so to go so they will be done at the same time). Put in serving bowl with a couple pads of butter.

6. Blend the roasted veggies in a blender until as smooth as possible. Heat the puree in a medium pot with enough beef stock to create a gravy consistency. Let simmer together until the rest of the dinner is ready. Serve in a gravy boat or small pitcher on the table.

7. Make the cheese sauce. In a small pot make the cheese sauce. Melt 1 Tbsp butter, stir in 1 Tbsp flour. Let that cook for a couple minutes, then whisk in 1/2 cup milk. Keep stirring as you bring it to steaming hot. It will become thick and smooth. Turn heat off. Add grated cheddar and mix until melted. Pour cheese sauce over sauteed leeks and mix. Cover with tinfoil to keep warm until everything else is ready.

8. Make the Yorkshire puddings. Turn the oven temp up to 425. Pour a teaspoon of oil in each hole of the muffin pan and stick the muffin pan in the oven to preheat. In a blender, combine 5 eggs, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 cups milk. Blend until smooth. Blend until (when the blender is off and you've removed the lid) the top of the batter is filled with little air bubbles. Remove the muffin tin from the oven and pour batter so it fills 1/3 of the depth of the holes in the muffin tin. Cook in oven about 20 minutes until they are golden brown. Check on them after fifteen minutes and give the pan a turn for even cooking if you are not using a convection oven. Open oven door and let popovers cool down gradually in oven to encourage them to stay puffy.

9. Serve all components in separate dishes on the table so guests can make their own plates and get seconds as desired.