Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole

Thick British pork sausages, covered in that crunchy-topped batter (or should I say Yorkshire?) pudding and then pour some thick onion gravy over the top. Does it need anything else? A bit of sautéed cabbage as a nod to the people who must always eat their vegetables, but that’s only if they are around. This is a filling and warming dish, great for February when the cold snap is fading, but we still want something that fills us up and gives a little comfort.

Ingredients

  • 8 pork sausages
  • 1 tablespoon of groundnut or vegetable oil
  • 6oz (150g) plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 6fl oz (150ml) semi-skimmed milk
  • salt and black pepper
  • 4fl oz (110 ml) water

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 220
  2. Now make the batter and don’t panic.  Sieve the flour into a large bowl, and hold up high when you do it to get some air in. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs. Slow speed hand whisk, beat the eggs into the flour making sure it is all combined. Gradually add the liquids scraping all the flour in. Make sure it is smooth and air is incorporated.
  3. Arrange the sausages in your roasting tin, and put a tablespoon of the oil over the top. Put them in the oven for 10 minutes.
  4. After they are done, remove them and put the tray on a high heat on the hob. Add another tablespoon of oil and make sure it gets as hot as you can – it should shimmer.
  5. Pour the batter around the sausages and put the lot back into the oven, on the highest shelf, for thirty minutes. Remove and serve.

While You Are Waiting

A quick note: when did we decide to shove a toad in the hole? Well, from what I have read it wasn’t just a sausage that was used. The idea, according to the food historian Kate Colquhoun in her book ‘Taste’, was designed to use up leftovers, reheating the meat using the puffed Yorkshire Pudding to add deapth. This was all in the 1760s so as a bit of comfort food it has been going for a while.

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About Cooking At Zero Degrees

This is a blog (it also works on an ipad and now has a Facebook page) about what we eat at home. Starters, mains, sauces, side dishes, cocktails and links to local shops. It’s all here. Food is fun, it should be fun to make and fun to eat. For some people making a meal is a chore. If it is then don’t do it; but please, it’s better to eat something, anything, that you make at home from scratch, because prepared, packaged supermarket dinners and food have about as much flavour as the plastic or cardboard package they come in. Food cultivation and husbandry is not just a moral argument. Eggs that don’t come from battery hens do taste better, cattle properly reared have more flavour - and just think about it: at its most simple, if they’re not being pumped full of chemicals then you’re not being pumped full of chemicals. How good is that? If you can buy local, use your neighbourhood shops, you will miss them when they are gone. Most of all, have fun making a meal of it! Oh, and why at zero degrees? Because that’s where we live – in Greenwich, London.
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