Like Spotted Dick and Welsh Rarebit, Toad in the Hole is unexpectedly delicious (despite the name!). It is also very quick and easy to knock up, and very cheap.
Originally, in the 1800s Toad in the Hole was just known as any leftover meat that was re-cooked in a batter. These days sausages are the protein of choice for this dish; you can use any kind from pork, beef, chicken or even those clever vegetarian sausages.
This recipe is sufficient to feed a family of four. Traditionally served with onion gravy, I prefer to knock up a quick batch of caramelised onions and serve some tomato sauce on the side.
4-6 large sausages (I find children tend to manage just one sausage while a grown man or woman might want 2, do adjust this to your family’s tastes)
120 grams plain flour
2 large eggs
1 sprig rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil or your usual neutral cooking oil
2 large onions
Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 240 degrees celcius.
Thinly slice your onion.
Add a tablespoon of oil into a shallow pan and heat.
When the oil is hot add the onions and cook slowly.
When the onions are translucent, add a tablespoon of honey and a couple tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
Allow to cook down for 40 minutes until the onion is sweet, tender and caramelised.
Season onions with salt and pepper.
This is good to have cooking while you prepare the rest of the Toad in the Hole.
Prepare a loaf tin or a baking tin not much larger than your average loaf tin with the olive oil. It should coat all the surfaces and have at least ½ depth of oil sitting at the bottom.
Put this tin on a larger baking tray and place it in the oven.
Place your flour in a large mouthed jug or one of those mixing bowls with a pouring spout. Or don’t panic if you don’t have one of these. It just makes it easier to pour the batter into the hot pan quickly.
Whisk together the milk and the eggs in a separate bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the egg and milk mixture. Stir to combine, but do not over mix. Make sure there are no flour pockets.
Strip the rosemary leaves from the stem and roughly chop.
Add to the batter with a ¼ teaspoon of salt and some pepper.
When the oil is hot pop the sausages into the baking dish.
Give it a couple shakes through the cooking to make sure the sausages don’t burn on the bottom.
When the skin is crisp and coloured, carefully remove the baking dish out of the oven and place on a heatproof surface.
Pour the batter into the baking dish over the sausages. It will start bubbling immediately.
Quickly put it back in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the batter is risen and golden. Don’t be tempted to open the door between these stages, as it will cause the cooking batter to collapse.
Lift out of the tin and cut into portions. Serve immediately with some green salad and vegetables and the caramelised onion.