Toad in the Hole – it’s a family classic that deserves to be on your table
It’s official, Toad in The Hole is making a comeback. From trendy restaurants to the family dining table it’s the comfort food we’re all craving this winter. Johnnie Mountain the charismatic Chef Patron of The English Pig, offers his foolproof recipe served with a delicious onion gravy.
Toad in The Hole
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 1 hour 10 minutes
250g/9oz/2 cups plain flour
½ tsp salt, plus extra to taste
300ml/10½fl oz/scant 1¼ cups milk
6 tbsp vegetable oil
8 good-quality sausages, about 450g/1lb total weight
peas or other green vegetable, to serve
30g/1oz unsalted butter
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
1 small thyme sprig, leaves finely chopped
1 tsp plain flour
60ml/2fl oz/¼ cup red wine
300ml/10½fl oz/scant 1¼ cups beef stock
1-2 tsp redcurrant jelly
freshly ground black pepper
1. To make the batter, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Whisk the eggs and milk with 4 tablespoons water, then gradually whisk three-quarters of the mixture into the flour to make a smooth batter. Whisk in the remaining milk mixture, a little at a time, until the consistency of single cream. Transfer to a jug and leave to rest until ready to use.
2. To make the gravy, melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the onions and thyme. Turn the heat down slightly, cover the pan, and cook the onions for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft. Uncover the pan, increase the heat to medium and cook for a further 10 minutes until the onions have slightly caramelized. Stir in the flour, then whisk in the red wine and stock. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the gravy has thickened slightly. Whisk in 1 teaspoon of the redcurrant jelly, adding more to taste, if you like. Season with salt and pepper and leave to one side.
3. While the onions are cooking, preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sausages and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning them regularly, until golden brown all over. It is important to brown them properly as they won’t colour in the batter. While the sausages are cooking, pour the remaining oil in a medium-sized roasting tin and heat in the oven for 5 minutes until very hot.
5. Carefully remove the tin from the oven and put it on the hob over a medium heat. Pour in the batter (it should start to bubble at the edges) and sit the sausages in the batter. Immediately return the tin to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 and bake for a further 25-30 minutes until the batter is puffy on top and crisp on the bottom. Reheat the gravy, if necessary, and serve with the “toad”. I like to serve this with peas, but any green vegetable would be great.
With more than 100 recipes Pig shows you how to cook pork brilliantly. Including, ‘Home Favourites’, ‘Cured, Dried, Preserved & Smoked’, ‘Aromatic & Spicy’, and Chapter Four, ‘Slow-Cooked’, reveals the secret of truly succulent pork with recipes such as Slow-Roast Belly of Pork. Special features throughout explain the different cuts of meat and how to smoke, preserve, cure and braise.