I've just had a chuckle to myself about the title of today's post because I wonder how this might go down in translation to different parts of the world. I've never heard this particular dish called anything else but 'toad-in-the-hole but if you do then please enlighten me....So for those of you that might never have come across 'toad-in-the-hole let me explain. Absolutely no toads have come anywhere near my kitchen to participate in the making of this dish (thankfully because I'd exit from the nearest door).
Well if toads aren't in the dish what is you might ask? Stay with me if you already know...
The 'toads' are in fact sausages which are cooked in the middle of a batter commonly known as Yorkshire puddings...oh here we go again...here are a few fact about Yorkshire Puds if you would like to know a little more.
I've been hearing that there's an amazing amount of snow in the Northern Hemisphere and that got me thinking when the temperature dropped to a lowly 20 to 25'C that this dish would be perfect.
'Toad-in-the-hole' is a great warming dish that's always a favourite in our house.
You might even be able to smell them if you come close enough to the screen.....ahhh.....
My OH and son weren't too happy at having a photo shot whilst they were salivating. But it was worth the wait.
There are little secrets to perform in order for the puds to rise this high...which because I know you, I'll let you in on.... : D
Look at the size of this baby!
They came out of the 11cm mini spring form pan so easily too.
Then keeping the hungry wolves at bay I managed to get this photo, much to the protests from the boys.
And there you have it .....'Toad-in-the-hole' with onion gravy and peas.
So simple but oh so satisfying ~ don't believe me just give it a go...
Its great with mashed potatoes too.
'Toad-in-the-hole' Recipe ~ Serves 4
Canola Oil (or Sunflower)
6 to 8 large good quality sausages (remember the better the quality the superior end taste)
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 large red onions ~ peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic ~ peeled and finely sliced
2 knobs of butter
6 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 level tablespoon of good-quality vegetable stock powder or 1 vegetable stock cube
285ml / ½ pint of milk
115g / 4oz plain flour
a pinch of salt
* Secret No.1
As my Grandmother and MIL have always taught it is thought to be better to make the batter in advance and put to one side. I tend to follow their advice but when time is of the essence I have mixed the batter and used it straight away. I have to confess I didn't really notice the difference but I shall remain to take their advice time permitting of course.
Method for making Batter:
1. Using a mixing bowl place in eggs and add the pinch of salt, flour and milk.
2. Mix together until all the lumps disappear and mixture is a smooth batter.
3. Put to one side ~ covered until you are ready to cook the puds.
4. Before you add the mixture give another quick mix to incorporate air to help make the puddings rise and be light and fluffy.
* Secret No. 2. The baking tin should be quite thin so that the oil will get to smoking hot. This is a very important part.
Method for making Puds
1. Put 1cm (just under ½ inch of oil into a baking tin or individual tins.
2. Place the tin in the middle shelf of oven at its highest setting ~ 240-250° C/475° F / Gas 9.
3. Place a tray underneath to save any oil that may overflow. I hate to clean my oven so this is an important step for me.
4. When the oil is very hot carefully add the sausages. I've cooked them this way but also seperately on a rack ~ both work well so the choice of how you want to cook your sausages is entirely up to you.
5. Keep an eye on them and allow to colour until lightly golden.
6. Carefully take the tins out of the oven or as I sometimes do just gently pull the shelf out. Making sure that it is stable ~ don't pull out too far. This is the tricky bit. Hot Fat!!! so be very careful.
7. After remixing the batter mixture to freshen it up and allow as much air as possible in, pour carefully over the sausages. If you cooked your sausages seperately make sure you add then into the oil tray for a few minutes before pouring in the batter mix. As you pour in the batter mix it may well spit and bubble...stand back a little.
8. Add a couple of sprigs rosemary into the batter. The smell is unbelievable.
9. Place shelf back in the middle and close the door.
* Secret No. 3 AND MOST IMPORTANT ~ Leave in the oven for 20 minutes DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!
This is easier if you have a glass oven door because you can see all the action. If you don't have a glass door, have faith and wait. Trust me its worth it.
Method for making Onion Gravy ~ this can be done in advance and freezes very well.
1. Peel and slice onion.
2. Gently fry in a pan with the butter and garlic until the onion is translucent.
3. Add a little rosemary if you wish.
4. Add balsamic vinegar and allow to cook down by half.
5. Add a stock cube or powder. (yes I know)
6. Add a little water.
7. Allow to simmer.
This is really such a great gravy and goes with numerous dishes. Hence I always have some in a container in the freezer.
I originally started this recipe using Jamie Olivers recipe. God bless you Jamie.
If you try it I hope you enjoy it as much as we do in this house. :D