19th September 2015
Flora In The Hole
Toad in the Hole in a Tray

Flora wants to expand her repertoire to include Toads in the Holes, so I consulted Nigel Slater for ideas for enhancing my Mum's traditional version such as by wrapping the sausages in fancy hams or adding splashes of mustard. We actually made a bit of an experiment of it and put a variety of sausages in the same hole - some plain, some skinned and wrapped in ham, and some in bacon.
We must have hit the Perla del Mar pretty hard though, 'cos I have little memory of the outcome - I think we agreed the bacon ones were the least good. I'm not sure if we thought the pancetta was a worthwhile faff. Perhaps Flora remembers?

I thought a creamy version of my apple-mustard sauce would make a good accompaniment hence no need to add mustard to the batter, together with roast potatoes and green beans.

Toad In The Hole
Sausage in Yorkshire pudding
meat main
Apparently you get a tastier batter if you mix half milk and half beer, and a tablespoon of wholegrain mustard helps too.
It's almost universally agreed that you need to let the batter sit for (at least) 15 minutes before you use it. It should have the consistency of double cream - so adjust the liquid accordingly.

For a bit of variation you can skin the sausages and either turn them into little patties with the addition of herb or spices, or you can wrap the skinned sausages in ham or bacon before laying them in the batter. You might want to fry or roast the bacon-wrapped ones first, though.

Serves 4

Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Whisk in the eggs and mustard if you like and continue to whisk until just smooth. Gradually add the milk and a pinch of salt and whisk to a smooth batter. The consistency should be that of double cream, but no thinner. You might need to pour the batter through a strainer if it's still lumpy.
Leave to rest for at least 15 minutes.

Heat half the fat in a frying pan over a medium heat and brown the sausages on all sides.
Or if you prefer, skin the sausages and wrap in the ham.
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
Put the remaining fat in a roasting tin and leave it in the oven until it is smoking.
With the roasting tin sitting over a low heat pour in the hot fat from the sausage pan, followed by the batter - it will sizzle softly in the hot fat - then arrange the sausages in the batter.

Transfer the tin back into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until puffed and golden.

Traditionally served with peas and a rich onion and Madeira gravy.
Or you could try a chunky tomato sauce or even a creamy apple and mustard purée?

Creamy Apple and Mustard Purée
sauce veg
The perfect accompaniment to toad in the hole.
You're on your own with the quantities though :)

Heat the butter in a saucepan and sweat some chopped onion, apple and sugar if using until soft.
Add a little water or wine and bubble until the apple collapses, then blend to a smooth paste or not if you prefer it chunky.
Return to the pan and stir in some cream, mustard and season to taste.
Rather nice.
Avoid boiling once you've added the cream. You could always add some herbs (parsley, tarragon, chives) at the end if you like.

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