The weather just dropped 10 degrees and its absolutely freezing. We need comfort food British style: Toad in the Hole.
But how do you get from ‘sausages in batter’ to ‘Toad in the Hole’? Someone, way back when, apparently thought the dish looked like toads sticking their heads out of holes. Nice. Anyway I’ve never really had much luck making Toad in the Hole – it usually comes out flat as a pancake or like a soggy pudding. So I thought I’d try again:
To make Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy you will need:
- 115g/4oz plain flour
- Salt and pepper
- 4 eggs
- ½ pint milk
- 8 sausages – good expensive ones
- Vegetable oil
For the gravy:
- A big onion, sliced up
- Soy sauce
- Brown sugar
- Wholegrain mustard
Sieve the flour into a bowl with the salt and pepper and add the eggs. Combine with a wooden spoon and then add the milk, stirring. Don’t whisk. Sieve the batter to remove any lumps and leave aside for a couple of hours if possible.
The trick to Toad in the Hole is to get a really crisp fluffy ‘Hole’ so to speak – so I thought that if you whisk the hell out of the batter and then immediately get it in the oven it would rise – but it doesn’t!
While the batter is resting start the gravy. Fry the onions in the butter, soy sauce, salt and sugar:
The longer you cook it, the more they will caramelise:
Now return to your Toad. Cook the sausages, either in the oven or on the hob. Put a pan in a hot oven with some oil and get it smoking hot. Add the batter and the sausages and get the pan back in the oven as quickly as possible without endangering life and limb. Cook for 1/2 hour or so.
Now back to the gravy: add some made up chicken bisto and mustard and cook gently:
Your Toad should look like this:
It might look a bit mad but this is the way I always wanted to get my Toad in the Hole. I am in fact quite pleased with this creation. Serve it up with buttery mashed potatoes and peas, the gravy and a big dollop of Heinz: