Watch out! There’s a toad in the hole.

There is nothing like crisp winter weather to inspire some good old fashioned comfort food and this weekend I reached for an old recipe that we used to eat when I was younger; Toad in the hole.

For anyone not familiar with this recipe you can relax, no toads are involved in the making of this dish! Instead we are talking meaty sausages baked in a scrumptious Yorkshire pudding style batter for an alternative to the much loved sausage and mashed potato. Serve with a selection of vegetables and a hearty onion gravy for the perfect antidote to a cold winters day.

So how on earth did this dish end up with the name “toad in the hole”? A much disputed question with scholars never really agreeing on the name’s origin. Some say quite literally that the sausages poking out of batter look like a toad poking its head out of a hole. Some argue that the dish was originally called “frog in the hole”. But neither offer a valid explanation especially when one considers that the dish was originally made with meat scraps or leftovers and the addition of batter was intended to make the meat go further and feed more people. Therefore the original dish used no sausages and could not have looked like a toad poking out of a hole.

So the mystery continues but the dish lives on and if you can dispel all images of toads I can promise you a tasty winter treat.

Recipe

8 Pork sausages (you can use varieties with herbs as desired)

Olive Oil or lard

175g Flour

Pinch of salt

1 large egg & 1 egg white

250g milk

Preparation

  1. Fry you sausages in a little of your oil or lard until nicely browned and then place in a casserole dish.
  2. To mix the Yorkshire pudding batter, weigh the flour into a bowl, add the salt and then break in the egg and egg white.
  3. Beat in the mix and whisk until you have a smooth batter. Ideally the batter should now rest for 30 mins before being used.
  4. Add the remaining oil or lard into the casserole dish with the sausages and place in the centre of a very hot oven at 220 degrees to preheat the fat.
  5. Once sizzling hot, take the casserole dish out and pour the batter quickly over the sausages and return to the oven.
  6. Cook for 30-45 minutes until the Yorkshire pudding is nicely risen and golden.
  7. Serve with an onion gravy and a selection of mixed vegetables..
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