Toad-in-the-hole

Toad-in-the-hole

By
From
Nathan Outlaw's Home Kitchen
Serves
4
Photographer
David Loftus

When I was a kid, we were allowed to choose what we had for dinner on our birthdays. I always chose toad-in-the-hole and to this day I still get excited about cooking and eating it. One vital tip: don’t open the oven while the batter is cooking. If you do, it will collapse and you’ll end up with a pancake. And when the toad-in-the-hole looks like it’s ready, give it another 5 minutes in the oven – it will be perfect when you take it out.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
12 pork sausages
olive oil, for cooking

For the batter

Quantity Ingredient
4 free-range eggs
180g plain flour
150ml whole milk
150ml water
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the gravy

Quantity Ingredient
olive oil, for cooking
2 large red onions, peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
a few sprigs thyme, leaves picked and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon plain flour
200ml red wine
600ml Chicken stock

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C and place a large baking dish, about 25cm in diameter, inside to heat up.
  2. First start the gravy. Place a wide pan over a medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaves and cook for 5–6 minutes until the onions begin to soften and colour. Sprinkle in the sugar and wine vinegar and cook for a further 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  3. Continuing to stir, add the red wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half, then pour in the stock. Simmer for 25–30 minutes until the gravy thickens. Taste for seasoning and to check that you are satisfied with the flavour; if it is too thin, simmer for a little longer.
  4. While the gravy is cooking, make the batter. Whisk the eggs and flour together in a bowl, then whisk in the milk and water to make a smooth batter. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. To cook the toad-in-the-hole, take the dish from the oven, drizzle in a little oil, then add the sausages. Place in the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and pour over the batter. Return to the oven and bake for 30–35 minutes until the batter is risen, golden and crisp.
  6. Serve the toad-in-the-hole immediately, with the gravy. I like to have mashed potatoes and buttered carrots, tossed with chopped parsley, on the side.
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