Sunday, 22 November 2009

Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole is one of those quintessentially English dishes, and unfortunately one that I don't have very often. This is only the second time I've ever made it! But it is a hearty dish fantastic for cold weather. We made it once in my second year at university and it didn't work very well, the batter didn't rise and it ended up really stodgy. Thankfully this one was much better! I love the combination of batter and sausages, but my Dad really doesn't like this sort of batter so we didn't have it at home.

I used a combination of two recipes one from Leiths Simple Cookery Bible and this one from BBC Good Food. I made it in a loaf tin, as I was only making it for me and that was the smallest metal tin I had. I ended up with rather a lot of the batter but it was perfectly cooked inside, and the gravy was really tasty as well. I served it with parsnip mash, broccoli and mange tout.

Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy
(Serves 4)

1 tbsp oil
8 pork sausages
1 onion, sliced

For the Batter
110g plain flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs
150ml water mixed with 150ml milk

For the gravy
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion , thinly sliced
2 tsp plain flour
2 tsp ready-made English mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
600ml chicken or vegetable stock

Make the batter; sift the flour into with the salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre, break the eggs into this well. Beat lightly,then gradually pour in half the milk and water, beating all the time to form a smooth,thick batter.

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Put the sausages in a large roasting tin (preferably metal). Scatter over the onion and drizzle with oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the sausages are starting to colour and the onion is tinged brown at the edges.

Remove from the oven and quickly pour the batter over the sausages. Return to the oven for a further 35-40 minutes until the batter is crisp and well risen.

Meanwhile, make the gravy. Heat the vegetable oil in a small pan, add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened and lightly coloured. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the mustard, Worcestershire or soy sauce and stock and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer for 15 minutes, then taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

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