Tuesday, 28 September 2010


When I initially made this, I burnt it and so was too embarrassed to post a photo. So I made it again last night (I am very competitive with myself) and it turned out so nice that I can post a photo now.

The burning, I'd like to point out, was not my fault. It was the stupid flaming recipe, from the New Penguin Cookery Book. Stupid dumbass piece of shit. I ought to have smelt a rat, with its hilarious 220C for 40 minutes recommendation, but what can I say? I'm a trusting sort.

One of the comments below asks what one is supposed to eat with toad-in-the-hole. The answer is anything you like, but traditionally onion gravy and cabbage. I don't know how to make onion gravy but I hear it's not difficult.

In general, this is a really very easy and an excellent thing to cook for a relaxed Saturday lunch or something. You an make the onion gravy and batter well in advance and then half an hour before you want to eat you whack the sausages in the pan, pour over the batter and it's done.

Don't worry - or rather, you ought not worry - that this is perhaps not a very sophisticated thing to cook; everyone will be beside themselves to get toad-in-the-hole for lunch and cooking lunch at home for friends (if you have some) is not about sophistication, it's about you not screeching around the house, bright red, going "shit shit shit the roulade is FUCKED" and then sitting down, taking two mouthfuls of dry beef and wailing "This is horrible - no-one eat it!!!!!!"

Not that I speak from experience or anything.

Toad in the hole

Batter makes enough for 4-6
Allow 2 sausages each for girls and 3 each for boys. I'm not being sexist and trying to make out that girls have tiny tummies and eat nothing because they're all on diets to get thin, thin, thin so they can marry a rich man because that's all they're good for - I'm just saying in general, girls eat two and boys eat three.

Of course, one girl will eat only one and another girl will have three. One boy will have only two and one girl has one and the other girl will have four. It's just a rule of thumb, okay? so that you don't go mental and buy 50 sausages for 6 people.

For the batter
120g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
300ml milk

sausages, nice ones
3-4 tbs vegetable oil or, ideally, beef dripping - about 25g

1 Pre-heat the oven to 220C. Whisk together the batter ingredients. You're less likey to get lumps if you half-mix the eggs and dry ingredients together before adding the milk. Rest the batter if you feel like it.

2 Put the fat in an roasting pan and stick it in the hot oven for 3-4 minutes until it's melted, then add the sausages.

3 Put the sausages back in the oven in the fat for 8-10 minutes. Now this is really important, so stop half-checking Facebook and listen to me: the fat must be SMOKING hot before you pour the batter in. When you open the oven and blue-ish smoke billows out, that's when it's time to pour the batter in.

I was always a bit scared of getting the fat this hot in the oven because I thought it would catch on fire or something. But turns out it doesn't.

4 Take the pan out of the oven when the fat is smoking and pour the batter around the sausages. Turn the oven down to 180C

5 Put the pan back in for 30 minutes, but check on it after 20mins just to make damn sure it's not alight. It'll be ready when it's all puffed up and golden brown.


  1. I've never made Toad in the Hole, because I can't think of anything to have with it.

    Do you just eat it on its own, or what?

  2. I know what you mean. It is traditionally eaten with cabbage and onion gravy. I don't know how to make onion gravy but I don't think it's hard.

    Or you could eat it on its own with ketchup and tell yourself that eating vegetables is horribly bourgeoise anyway.

  3. I love toad in the hole, regretably I've got a boyfriend who doesn't eat meat. I'll encourage him to go out next week sometime, so I can get my fill of 2 sausages.


  4. Funny. I had a 'moment' like that the other day.. making falafel that's supposed to 'clump' together into balls... mine not clumping at all.. and then that dawning realisation that oh yeh, I forgot to actually cook the frickin chick peas first, rather than just soak them. Live and learn Esther, that's what I say. We live and we learn. :o)

  5. with mashed potato! sunday food, obviously.

  6. A re-post! Excellent professionalism/anal perfectionism.

    Mashed potato and baked beans, surely?

  7. by way of an apology: http://belleaukitchen.blogspot.com/2010/10/windfall-pie-for-esther.html x

  8. Head to the god of all comfort food, nigel, and his bible - 'real food'. There is an absolutely yummo recipe for onion gravy. Easy, and it freezes/ahead of time prepares fantastically.

  9. definitely mash and gravy and cabbage.

    I can't make roast meat gravy, but this onion gravy never seems to fail: http://www.cottagesmallholder.com/annas-famous-onion-gravy-recipe-257

  10. I am still searching for the perfect toad recipe, and am going to try this one tonight. Everyone knows it's all about the batter, and yours looks fab. Previous attempts have resulted in weird sponge effect or cindered crisp.

  11. just make sure the fat is really hot and smoking when you pour the batter in. that's the secret. let me know how it goes

  12. I am puzzled. The fat was really smoking hot, the Toads were brown the egg batter perfect and it was all so tasty ... but why no comments about how many sausages girls and boys would eat??!! It was brilliant! I will stop laughing no less than 3 days after my puffy toads came out of the oven.