Toad-in-the-Hole from G's Wartime Kitchen
Thanks for checking out our “Toad-in-the-Hole” videos from G’s Wartime Kitchen. As promised, here is the detail:
What We Did:
To serve 2 or 3:
4 -6 good quality sausages of your choice.
Bit of oil for cooking if necessary.
For the batter – Del’s Yorkshire pudding:
Equal amounts of flour, eggs and milk. We used 2 large eggs as our base amount (see method below).
Salt and pepper to season.
For the onion gravy: most of this recipe is from Delia Smith’s onion gravy, but we’ve made a few small changes:
2 medium sized purple onions, chopped into wedge slivers.
2 tsp oil for cooking.
heaped tsp of dark brown Muscovado sugar (it’s what we had in the cupboard, Delia calls for golden caster sugar).
2 splashes of Worcestershire sauce.
2 tsp (Delia calls for 1 tsp) mustard powder.
about 2 cups of vegetable stock.
2 heaped tsp of plain flour.
salt and ground black pepper to taste (stock may be quite salty so check first).
Preheat oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
Here is where we differ from Delia. Our method is a quick and as simple as possible.
Batter – put the eggs in a small bowl (such as a ramekin). Hopefully you have two more dishes the same size. Look how far the eggs fill the bowl, and fill the other two bowls with the plain flour and milk, to the same level at the eggs. Combine and whisk together thoroughly to remove any lumps. Set aside.
Onion gravy – place the chopped onions in a bowl and add a splash of oil and the sugar. Mix and place in a medium sized baking pan. Place in the oven to cook for about 10-15 minutes, until soft and browning around the edges.
Whilst the onions are cooking, place the sausages into a pan and “3/4” cook (approximately 15 minutes), turning the sausages to brown all over.
Also now, put a small – medium sized baking pan into the oven with a splash of oil, to heat up. When this pan is hot and sizzling, remove from the oven and place the sausages in the pan. Gently pour the batter around the sausages, and place the pan, with the sausages and batter, into the oven. This should cook for about 30 minutes, but check after 20 minutes, to see progress – when its ready, the batter will be puffed up and brown, and crispy. The centre should be cooked through.
Whilst the toad-in-the-hole is cooking, make the gravy. Add the mustard powder and Worcestershire sauce to the simmering stock. Remove the onions from the oven when ready. Use the baking pan on the stove (low heat) to make the gravy. Add the flour to the onions and stir in. Then add the stock, bit by bit, whisking it into the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for a further 5 minutes, and then season to taste. Turn off the stove and leave the gravy for a few more minutes to thicken.
Divide the toad-in-the-hole and put on warm plates. Ladle the gravy over the toad-in-the-hole and enjoy!!
What Marguerite Patten Says:
As a recognised food authority of the wartime, Marguerite Patten suggests the following recipe and method used for this dish that was a favourite in factory canteens:
1oz (25g) dripping or cooking fat
1lb (450g) sausages
For the batter:
5oz (150g) plain flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp dried egg powder
2 tsp water
½ pint (300ml) milk or milk water
The same basic method as described above, combining dry ingredients, then wet to make the batter, and whisking up. Part cook sausages and pour batter around the sizzling sausages and dripping in a hot pan. Place in a hot oven for about 30 minutes. As above, check progress at about 20 minutes.
A Little Bit of History:
“Toad-in-the-Hole” is similar to what the Americans call “pigs-in-a-blanket”.
The origin of the name is not completely clear, but research indicates that the dish is probably more than 250 years old! Nothing special about the name – apparently, the dish is supposed to resemble a toad sticking its little head out of a hole, hence the name.
A recipe from 150 years ago uses bits and pieces of any kind of meat – bought at the end of the day when prices were cheaper - rather than sausages. During the war, the iconic Spam was substituted for sausages.
We hope you enjoy your toad-in-the-hole. Let us know how it goes!
Cheers and happy eating, K&G!
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Added by Katy on 27 January 2011