There’s nothing quite like it on a cold winter’s day, is there? Toad in the hole – with no soggy bottom – and a great gravy – sticks to the ribs and is soooooo warming and comforting. Our version has great mountainous sides, plunging into the sausagy middle – something easily attainable from the batter whisking and the use of suet. Whip it up, stick it in the oven and serve – great for an early-week supper, particularly as you can use the Sunday roast’s left over gravy to serve it with. Try as we have done in the past, we now tend to avoid accompanying vegetables – why spoil a naughty thing?!
Serves 4 hungry people
What you need…
1 x baking dish, lightly buttered (my usual dish is 30cm x 20cm x 7cm deep)
12 of your favourite sausages
275 g plain flour
300ml milk/Oatly if you’re cutting down on dairy
Sea salt and black pepper
A good handful of suet
What to do…
Preheat oven to 220°c / 425°f / gas 7.
Pop the sausages into the baking dish and bake them on the middle shelf in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they are just starting to colour.
Using an electric mixer, whisk together the flour, eggs, milk, water, salt and pepper until there are no lumps and you have a lovely, smooth batter.
Whisk in the suet into the batter – just enough to get it incorporated (mix it for too long and you’ll beat out the raising agent).
Remove the sausages from the oven and quickly tip in the batter. Put it straight back in the oven and cook for 30-ish minutes, turning half way through to ensure and even bake. The batter should be golden, crispy around the edges and cooked properly through the middle; sausages good and brown poking through the batter.
Serve your fabulous winter toad in the hole immediately – huge great wedges for each lucky person. Ideally, top with the rich gravy left over from your Sunday Roast Dinner. Sit back at the end, patting the belly and pronounce that you can do nothing further for the rest of the day!
If you don’t have any left over gravy available, this is my quick stop-gap version which does a fine job! For four people, tip 150g Bistro chicken gravy granules into the bottom of a large jug. Gradually add boiling water from a kettle, mixing in the granules evenly using a balloon whisk. Keep adding water until you have a gravy that is your preferred consistency (we like ours thick). Add a good glug of Pellegrino Marsala Superiore to the gravy and taste – maybe add a bit more. The Marsala adds a wonderful depth of flavour. If you have time, you can bring this to the boil in a saucepan and cook off the alcohol, but we never have and we’re all quite close to normal!
John the husband and Delia Smith
Ever so! A bit of whisking and then the oven does the rest. A perfect weekday meal!