Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another of my favourite Don't Really Fancy Having To Cook meals is the very famous Toad-In- The-Hole; which to my mind is a very simple, filling, nutritious meal fit for a King. Its origins are a bit sketchy;but one thing that can be said of it is that it is definately the epitome of the British working class diet during the middle part of the last century.

In our house; at least, it is a great way of knocking together a quick, tasty and nutrient full dish while using up ingredients which might otherwise be consigned either to the compost heap or the dog's bowl! Unfortunately this dish appears, like so many other tradition's to have been usurped convenience foods & foreign dishes of every variety, type and colour. (Funny, I thought I'd just described this as being one of my favourite convenience foods?!)

In our family there is some discussion regarding the veracity of this recipe, as my Mum considers Toad-in-the-Hole to be the same as Banger's & Mash. Well, sorry Mum, Banger's & Mash is Banger's and Mash and that's all there is too it. Mind you, I could quite fancy that now for lunch served with nice onion gravy, peas, swede & carrot (mashed). There's nothing quite like smells or food to evoke happy childhood memories, is there?

In either case it is essential to use good, flavoursome sausages rather than those nasty podgy pink things many of us have had the dubious pleasure of growing up with. That said, this simple dish will even make these monstrosities edible! It is also preferable to prepare this dish the day after you have had a roast of pork, chicken or turkey; some of the gravy, held back, will only add to the delight that constitutes Toad in the Hole.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
(for anyone that checked this out yesterday I have a confession to make, which is that I would normally use 2 eggs, not 1, for this amount of sausages. Sorry about that!

16 good quality pork sausages
2 eggs
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour, season with salt & pepper
1 cup cold full fat milk
3 tablespoons of olive oil, lard or dripping.

  1. Turn oven on at Gas Mark 9 and allow to pre-heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to GM 7 and place 8 - 10" with fat/oil on top shelf .
  3. On centre shelf of oven place baking dish with sausages, leave to cook for approx 15 mins.
  4. Meanwhile place flour in bowl and make a well in centre.
  5. Break egg into centre of flour and gradually pour in 1/2 milk, whisking with a balloon whisk or wooden spoon continuously.
  6. When mixture appears smooth and has air bubble's rising to top, gently beat in remaining milk.
  7. Allow to stand for at least 10 mins.
  8. Check on oil in the oven; when it is hot and smoking (blue) add the partly cooked hot sausages. Gently pour the batter into the tray, covering the sausages. The batter should sizzle!
  9. Return to oven for a further 15-20 mins.
  10. Remove from oven and serve when batter has risen, is crispy and a golden to light brown colour.
  11. Divide into four portions, serve with lashings of gravy, potatoes cooked according to preference & lots of fresh seasonal vegetables.

Recently I proudly served this particular dish at one of the children's sleepover parties; it was a cold miserable day requiring comfort food for two picky eaters, where could I go wrong? Apparently both boys were officionado's of sausages & Yorkshire Pudding, which really is all that this dish is, so I was onto a winner.

From time to time, I to like to add onions to this recipe. How could I have known that neither boy liked onions and would therefore not only refuse to eat the chosen delicacy, but would also denounce it as being "revolting!"


PeachPoPs said...

Great tale about "toad in the hole" I've never tried the recipe, but this dog says it sounds yummy (albeit, dogs can't have onions, lol).

Bark at you later! Merry Christmas from across the miles. :-)

Polly Peirce said...

Thanks for the compliment!

This recipe is yummy, especially if it's cold outside and you're feeling miserable!

My girls, Gypsophillus & TilleyTwo love onions. Is it because you get bad gas that you're not allowed to eat them? Or is it something more sinister? Maybe I shouldn't give my two lassies onions anymore either, I don't want to make them ill!

By the way, I told them about you and they both send love and lickies! Shame the human's didn't believe me...

Merry Christmas! Px