We eat toad in the hole a lot; like, a LOT LOT, as it’s something Arthur has decided he absolutely loves, and even insists on making with me. The best recipe I have ever used and one I keep going back to again and again is Jamie Oliver’s. So, I simply add lots of chopped fresh sage and rosemary to his perfect batter recipe. Even though this isn’t totally my recipe, I wanted to share it with you as it’s a great one – such a crowd pleaser.
As we make it a lot, I feel I have learned a few things over the years of making it. Here are my top tips:
- Use the right pan. Metal is best; I use the same one I make brownies in. It’s a square tin, about 23cm x 23cm.
- Cut your sausage up into thirds. It makes them go further. So, aim for about 2 each but chopped into thirds so everyone gets plenty of sausage bits in theirs.
- Get your vegetable oil hot first. Preheat the oven to 220C. Then put the oil in the pan and let that preheat too, for about 10-15 mins.
- Sizzle your sausages off. Once the oil is hot, remove the pan, and place the chopped sausages in, then back into the oven for another 10 mins.
- Only now add your batter – and don’t peek. Take out the browned sausages and – QUICKLY – pour in the batter. Then back in – and don’t open the oven again if you can help it. Cook for longer than you think, to ensure the batter is cooked through. About 35 mins is about right. But judge for yourself.
- Make excellent gravy. The best gravy is made by adding diced vegetables (any old ones are fine – carrots, courgettes, onions – whatever) in a frying or roasting pan over a medium heat with a little oil and sugar and letting it cook, slowly, for about half an hour. Then add flour to veggies, red wine, some beef stock and bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened and then strain. Or, at the very least, fry off lots of onions with a little sugar, add red wine and reduce. Then finish with a little gravy thickener.
- Preheat oven to 220C. Once fully heated, add oil to tin and preheat that for 10 minutes. Now add the sausages to the tin and do the same for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the batter in a jug by whisking the ingredients together. If making ahead don’t add salt as it degrades the mixture.
- Once the sausages have been sealed a little, take out the oven wine quickly pour in the batter. Get it back in the oven ASAP!
- Turn down to 200C.
- Cook for about 30-35 minutes or until you think it is done. Always give it a little longer than you think, just to be sure.
- Serve with onion gravy, mash and a green veg.