Toad in the hole is a hearty winter warmer that kids will love.
Toad in the hole dates back to 18th century Britain when poorer families were looking for ways to make their expensive meat go further. What better way to do so than by floating your precious, juicy sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter to create a dish worthy of kings (on a shoestring). The trick when cooking a toad in the hole is to resist opening the oven while it’s cooking so you get perfect, crisp Yorkshire pudding batter – and the sausages are cooked all the way through. Serve with lashings of piping hot gravy.
- 30g (1oz) dripping or lard
- 454-500g packet good-quality pork and herb sausages
- 300ml (1/2 pint) milk
- 125g (4oz) plain flour
- 2 medium eggs
- Salt and pepper
- For the gravy:
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 100ml beef stock, from a cube
- 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1tsp cornflour, mixed with a little water
Set the oven to fairly hot gas mark 6 or 200°C.
Place the dripping or lard in a smallish metal tin and place in the oven for 3-4 mins, or until melted. Add the sausages to the pan and turn to coat in the melted fat.
Bake, towards the top of the oven for 15-20 mins or until the sausages are an even golden colour.
While the sausages are cooking, prepare the batter. Pour the milk into the bowl of the food processor and add the flour, eggs and seasoning and whizz until blended. Add the finely chopped sage at this stage for a twist. Chill the batter until it’s needed.
When the sausages are browned pour over the batter – working quickly so as not to lose too much heat from the oven and immediately return the tin to the oven.
Bake for about 20-30 mins or until the batter has risen and is golden in colour and crisp. Serve immediately.
For the gravy:
Cook the red onion in the sausage fat from your cooking pan.
Once they are caramelised add the stock and balsamic vinegar to the cooked onions in the pan.
Bring to the boil.
Add the cornflour, mixed with a little water, to thicken.
Top tips for cooking toad in the hole
For a delicious twist that will make your toad in the hole really stand out, add finely chopped sage to your batter to give a herby flavour to your meal.
You can easily make this dish vegetarian by swapping the sausages for plant-based alternatives.
We’d recommend dabbing or blotting the toad in the hole with kitchen paper once its cooled slightly from the oven. This will help to take off any excess oil that may be left on the Yorkshire pudding after baking.
Why won't my toad in the hole rise?
If your toad in the hole has more of a cakey consistency than the light and airy batter you're after, then it could be to do with the dish you're using. You might think a stoneware dish will work just as well but really a metal tin is needed to conduct enough heat for the batter to rise as required.