When I was little, I always had school dinners and one of my favourites was Toad in the Hole.
This traditional dish of Yorkshire Pudding batter and sausages is about as comforting as food can get, and its name is about as silly (bar Spotted Dick perhaps).
It's a dish that's also beloved by my husband, but I try not to make it too often in case he gets fat.
I've tried various different combos for the batter and I found that Brian Turner's Yorkshire Pudding recipe gives the best results and is also fairly idiot-proof.
As for the sausages, I use nice quality pork ones from my butcher's counter, Debbie & Andrew's, or The Black Farmer, and when our veggie friends come for tea, Cauldron's vegetarian sausages.
This recipe serves four (or three greedy people who want 4 bangers each)
Dead Easy Toad in the Hole
- 12 good quality pork or vegetarian sausages
- A mug of beaten eggs (a standard coffee mug - not a monster from Whittards)
- A mug of plain flour
- A mug of half milk/half water
- Tablespoon of malt vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- Three tablespoons vegetable oil (I use groundnut)
- Onion gravy (gently fried onions plus onion Bisto Best works brilliantly!)
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the beaten eggs and half the milk/water mix and whisk till there are no lumps. Then add the rest of the milk/water and the vinegar, whisk again and leave this batter to stand.
Preheat your oven to 200°C, 400°F, Gas Mark 6. Drizzle the vegetable oil over a large rectangular baking dish (as big as will fit in your oven) and then place the sausages evenly in the dish.
Next, bake the sausages in the oven and watch till they change colour from pink to pasty white (but not brown). As soon as this happens, take the dish out, and then carefully pour in the batter so it pools around the sausages and they look like they're swimming in custard.
Place the dish back in the oven and leave to bake for a further twenty to thirty minutes.
As soon the batter has puffed up and crisped nicely, and the sausages are toasty brown, it's ready to eat.
Slice up into generous portions making sure everyone gets some of the gorgeous Yorkshire Pudding crust, drown with onion gravy and get stuck in!
I usually serve creamy mashed potato and baked beans with this, but any steamed veg will do.
It doesn't really matter though because the Toad in the Hole is the star attraction!
EDITED ON 29.01.2010: I've just entered this into AmuseBouche UK's Battle for Toad Hall :)
Try the macaroni cheese too when you get the chance - my nieces and nephews love that :)