FIRST ATTEMPT - MUNCH RATING: 3/5
I’ve never been a fan of toad in the hole, as I don’t really like that kind of batter, hence why I don’t like Yorkshire Puddings either. But Steve likes it so I thought I’d treat him to a British classic!
I used the recipe on the BBC Good Food website. I only used 4 sausages as I was only cooking for 2 people, but I made up the whole amount of batter as per the recipe as Steve loves the batter. But he likes it stodgy, so I used a smaller dish than the recipe called for so it would be thicker. This was a big mistake as it was all soggy and undercooked at the bottom and it was pretty inedible. The top part was lovely and crispy though and even I enjoyed eating it, so I would make this recipe again as it was really easy, but next time I will use the correct size dish (see below).
For the onion gravy that goes with it, I used 3 leeks instead as I had them in the fridge and it was still pretty tasty.
- Serves: 4
- Oven temperature: Gas mark 7/425°F/220°C
- You will need: a 20cm x 30cm shallow roasting tin
- 100g plain flour
- ½ tsp English mustard powder (I used Dijon mustard instead)
- 1 egg
- 300ml milk
- 3 thyme sprigs, leaves only (I left this out as I used Cumberland sausages)
- 8 plain pork sausages (use 2 per person)
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 onions, peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp soft brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon plain flour
- 500ml beef stock
- Make the batter: Heat oven to Gas mark 7/425°F/220°C. Tip flour into the large mixing bowl and stir in the mustard powder with a good pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre, crack in the egg, then pour in a dribble of milk. Stir with a wooden spoon, gradually incorporating some of the flour, until you have a smooth batter in the well. Now add a bit more milk and continue stirring until all the milk and flour has been mixed together.
- The batter is ready: You should now have a smooth, lump-free batter that is the consistency of double cream. Tip it back into the jug you measured your milk in, for easier pouring later on, then stir in the thyme. Use scissors to snip the links between your sausages, then drop them into a 20 x 30cm roasting tin. Add 1 tbsp of the oil, tossing the sausages in it to thoroughly coat the base of the tin, then roast in the oven for 15 mins (mine took more like 25 mins to cook!).
- Cook the batter: Take the hot tray from the oven, then quickly pour in the batter - it should sizzle and bubble a little when it first hits the hot fat. Put it back into the oven, then bake for 40 mins until the batter is cooked through, well risen and crisp. If you poke the tip of a knife into the batter in the middle of the tray it should be set, not sticky or runny.
- Make the gravy: Soften the onions with the remaining oil in a large nonstick frying pan for about 20 mins, stirring often, until they are golden brown. Sprinkle in the sugar for the final 5 mins. Add the spoonful of flour, then cook, constantly stirring, for 2 mins, so it coats the onions and there is no dry flour left. Gradually pour in the stock, stirring well to make a smooth sauce. Bubble for 4-5 mins to thicken, then season. Cut the toad in the hole into large wedges and serve with the gravy spooned over.
SECOND ATTEMPT – MUNCH RATING: 4/5
This is my second attempt and it worked much better. I used the correct sized dish so the batter was a lot more crispy and less stodgy, however there were still some soggy bits which Steve happily ate! I actually really enjoyed eating this, so it will become one of my staple recipes.
However, I used a ceramic dish as we didn’t have a roasting tin that was the right size. Quite a lot got stuck to the bottom of the dish. A roasting tin would give a much better result as it would conduct the heat much better, so I might have to buy one just for Toad in the hole! Actually, I think my Swiss roll tin might be the right size, if a little shallow, but it’s worth a try!
Oh and I made the gravy with onions and it was SO much nicer! The onions caramelized and were so much sweeter than the leeks.