What do you get with a bunch of sausages and Yorkshire Pudding batter?
A Toad in the Hole. I know, stranger names have been given to dishes, but I think this is a funny one. Some say the name was derived as far back as the middle of 19th century and the name was given because the sausage sticking out of the batter resembles a toad’s head. No matter how much I try to squint and picture the dish…I don’t see a toad. Not even a tadpole. It’s a good thing though, cos I really want sausages. Not any amphibian of the ribbity kind.
I like hotdogs. In a soft roll, topped with onions, mustard, relish and ketchup.
I like bratwursts. Served with a tangy side of sauerkraut.
I like toad-in-a-holes. Sitting amidst puffy Yorkshire pudding.
At the end of the day, they are all sausages but presented in different forms and given different names. I like ’em all.
I’ve decided to take part in this month’s International Incident Party and the theme is Hotdogs! Started by fellow food blogger Penny from Jeroxie, this virtual party is a collaboration of food bloggers showcasing their creations based on a common theme. It’s a great way to share ideas and gawk at more food photos and write-ups. Check out the details of International Incident Party, here.
So, hotdog party people, I present you with a traditionally English, Toad-in-the-Hole. No toads were harmed during this process.
Using a Jamie Oliver recipe, I was nervously hoping that my Yorkshire pudding would not flop – literally! Yorkshire puddings are known to be rather temperamental. Delightfully, the pudding puffed up real high and in fact it got caught on the top oven shelf (yeah my old oven shelf is non-removable – lame!) but I managed to tug the extremely hot combination of baking tray and loaf tin to safety without spilling hot oil all over myself – with the pudding still proudly puffed up. Phew!
Crisp Yorkshire pudding, succulent pork and leek sausages, aromatic rosemary. Usually served with mash, vegetables and brown onion gravy, I chose to serve mine with a light side salad (less guilt!) and Jamie’s red onion and balsamic gravy. Yee-ha!
TOAD IN THE HOLE
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Happy Days with the Naked Chef
- sunflower oil
- 6 large good-quality sausages
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 2 large red onions, peeled and sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 knobs of butter
- 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 level tablespoon good-quality vegetable stock powder or 1 vegetable stock cube
for the batter
- 285ml milk
- 115g plain flour
- a pinch of salt
- 3 eggs
Mix the batter ingredients together, and put to one side. I like the batter to go huge so the key thing is to have an appropriately-sized baking tin – the thinner the better – as we need to get the oil smoking hot.
Put 1cm/just under ½ inch of sunflower oil into a baking tin, then place this on the middle shelf of your oven at its highest setting (240–250ºC/475ºF/gas 9). Place a larger tray underneath it to catch any oil that overflows from the tin while cooking. When the oil is very hot, add your sausages. Keep your eye on them and allow them to colour until lightly golden.
At this point, take the tin out of the oven, being very careful, and pour your batter over the sausages. Throw a couple of sprigs of rosemary into the batter. It will bubble and possibly even spit a little, so carefully put the tin back in the oven, and close the door. Don’t open it for at least 20 minutes, as Yorkshire puddings can be a bit temperamental when rising. Remove from the oven when golden and crisp.
For the onion gravy, simply fry off your onions and garlic in the butter on a medium heat for about 5 minutes until they go sweet and translucent. You could add a little thyme or rosemary if you like. Add the balsamic vinegar and allow it to cook down by half. At this point, I do cheat a little and add a stock cube or powder. You can get some good ones in the supermarkets now that aren’t full of rubbish. Sprinkle this in and add a little water. Allow to simmer and you’ll have a really tasty onion gravy.
Check out the rest of the International Incident Party peeps here!