Toad in a hole

Toad in a hole

Have You Eaten
Billy Law

No, we are not just cutting a big hole in a slice of bread and cooking an egg in it — we are making the classic English toad in a hole, made with sausages in Yorkshire pudding. The recipe itself is simple but it does require some skill to cook it perfectly; it took me many attempts to achieve a result I was finally happy with. My best tip is to use an oil with a high smoking point, like duck fat or vegetable shortening, as this will give you a nice crispy crust on your Yorkshire pudding. But a final word of warning: these are seriously delicious but they are not very waistline-friendly!


Quantity Ingredient
6 short gourmet sausages
vegetable oil
75g plain flour
1 egg
250ml full-cream milk
3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons lard or duck fat, at room temperature (see note)
mustard and gravy, to serve (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Fry the sausages in a pan with a little bit of oil until half cooked — about 3 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl, make a well in the centre, then break the egg into it. Pour the milk in a steady stream into the bowl, stirring to gradually incorporate the flour into the mixture until it forms a smooth batter. Pass the batter through a fine sieve into a jug to make sure it is lump free. Add the thyme leaves and season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Have ready a 6-hole muffin tray. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of fat into each hole, then place the tray in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the fat is smoking hot.
  4. For this step, I find it’s best to open the oven door and pull the oven rack and muffin tray out a bit, without removing it from the oven so the oil stays as hot as possible. Carefully pour the batter into each hole until half full, then place a sausage into each one. Put the tray back in the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the batter is puffed up, golden brown and crispy. Serve with mustard and gravy if you like.


  • You can buy duck fat at delicatessens or fine food stores, or rendered from another duck recipe. Duck fat stores well in the refrigerator and will keep for several months. Alternatively, substitute the duck fat with oil that has a high smoking point, such as sunflower oil, canola oil or vegetable shortening.
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