Roast beef & horseradish canapés

Amazingly easy and ridiculously more-ish, this is a great way to use left over roast beef, not to mention Yorkshire pudding batter if you have any left, although to be honest the batter can be made up in moments! I have also given ideas for some of my favourite savoury and sweet variations.

The beef really should be cooked no more than medium rare, although a few slices from the end of the joint will satisfy those who prefer their meat more cooked.

These bites also great served as part of Afternoon Tea: a slightly quirky replacement for roast beef sandwiches, although several per person would be needed!

I use miniature muffin tins that are ideal for small-scale bakes such as this, with each tin containing  24 small holes (as in the picture).
Mini muffin tin

Savoury & sweet variations:

A few of my favourite variations using the Yorkshire Pudding batter as a base include the following:


– Replacing the horseradish cream with caramelised onion chutney, and the merest pinch of sea salt on top.

– Using well-seasoned sausagemeat, gently cooked, with a little caramelised onion chutney in place of the horseradish cream.

– Mini toad-in-the-holes, using miniature good quality sausages (partially cooked first), and mustard-flavoured cream. Excellent warmed up or chilled.


For chilled sweet bites, great as petits fours, omit the mustard powder, horseradish and pepper from the batter and whisk in a tablespoon of caster sugar before baking and then topping. A crème pâtissière or good quality custard can be used to hold fruit toppings:

– Rhubarb poached in sugar, water and a little star anise before being cooled and used to top lightly sweetened crème fraîche or custard. The syrup can be reduced further and a spoonful drizzled over these bites.

– Apples added to a hot caramel, removed from the heat and left to cool. Use these, roughly chopped, to top fresh custard or crème pâtissière.

– Fresh berries on sweetened crème fraîche: total simplicity!

Gluten-free version:

A gluten-free version of these canapés can be made by substituting the plain flour for gluten-free flour. And whereas sometimes extra adjustments are needed when translating a recipe into a gluten-free bake, for these no tweaks are needed: just swapping the flour for gluten-free flour.

Roast beef and horseradish canapés: makes about 48


For the Yorkshire puddings:

  • 80g plain flour or gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
  • 150ml whole milk
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • a little grating of fresh horseradish, or use about a teaspoon of horseradish sauce
  • sunflower oil

For the horseradish cream:

  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • a few gratings of fresh horseradish or a couple of teaspoons of horseradish sauce
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper

To finish:

  • a few freshly chopped chives to scatter over

You will also need a miniature muffin/pie tin

(1) Preheat the oven to 220C(fan) and put a couple of drops of oil into each mould. Place the tin in the oven to heat up while you make the batter.

(2) Mix the flour, mustard powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the eggs and a little of the milk and whisk well with a hand-held mixer, although it works well with just a wooden spoon and a fair bit of elbow grease!

(3) Add the rest of the milk, whisking until you get a thick batter – you can leave this to stand ( it is great even a couple of days later, covered and refrigerated) or use it immediately: pour into the holes in the tin, coming to about half-way up each hole. If you only have one tin, bake in batches: the batter will be perfectly fine.

(4) Put these back in the oven on the highest shelf for about 10-12 minutes until well risen and crisp. Remove from heat, take the Yorkshire puddings out of their holes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

(5) Slice the meat (thinly or thickly), and then cut into narrow strips. Mix the crème fraîche with the horseradish and the seasoning.

(6) Place a little of the horseradish mixture on top of each Yorkshire pudding, which should have a few “dimples” – a handy vessel for the topping – and add a little strip of beef. Scatter over the chives and serve!


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