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Old 11-18-2004, 07:26 AM   #1
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Toad in the Hole with roasted onion gravy

and no, it doesn't use real toads! It's another way of using a Yorkshire pudding batter to make a tasty main course with British sausages.

This recipe is from a Delia Smith book - all her recipes are tried and true. This one is delicious - even if it doesn't contain toads....

Serves 2-3

6 good-quality British style pork sausages – about 14 oz (400 g)
1 tablespoon groundnut or other flavourless oil (if necessary)


For the batter
3 oz (75 g) plain flour
1 large egg
3 fl oz (75 ml) semi-skimmed milk
salt and freshly milled black pepper


For the onion gravy:
8 oz (225 g) onions, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons groundnut or other flavourless oil
1 level teaspoon golden caster sugar
1 dessertspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 level teaspoon mustard powder (English mustard is much hotter than US styled mustards)

15 fl oz (425 ml) vegetable stock made from 11/2 level teaspoons Marigold Swiss vegetable bouillon powder dissolved in 15 fl oz (425 ml) boiling water (or any good veg stock cube)
1 rounded dessertspoon plain flour
salt and freshly milled black pepper


You will also need a solid-based, flameproof roasting tin with a base of 9 x 6 inches (23 x 15 cm), 2 inches (5 cm) deep, and a baking tray 14 x 10 inches (35 x 25.5 cm).

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).

Begin by making the batter, and to do this sieve the flour into a large bowl, holding the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing. Now, with the back of a spoon, make a well in the centre, break the egg into it and add some salt and pepper. Now, measure the milk and 2 fl oz (55 ml) water in a measuring jug, then, using an electric hand whisk on a slow speed, begin to whisk the egg into the flour – as you whisk, the flour around the edges will slowly be incorporated. Then add the liquid gradually, stopping to scrape the flour into the mixture. Whisk until the batter is smooth. Now the batter is ready for use, and although it's been rumoured that batter left to stand is better, I have never found this, so just make it whenever it's convenient.

Now place the sliced onions in a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of the oil and the sugar and toss the onions around to get the lightest coating, then spread them on the baking tray. Next arrange the sausages in the roasting tin, then place the onions on a high shelf in the oven, with the sausages on a lower shelf, and set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, remove the sausages from the oven but leave the onions in for a further 4-5 minutes – they need to be nicely blackened round the edges. When they are ready, remove them and leave to one side.

Now place the roasting tin containing the sausages over direct heat turned to medium and, if the sausages haven't released much fat, add the tablespoon of oil. When the tin is really hot and the oil is beginning to shimmer – it must be searing hot – quickly pour the batter in all around the sausages. Immediately return the roasting tin to the oven, this time on the highest shelf, and cook the whole thing for 30 minutes.

Now for the gravy. First add the Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder to the stock, then add the onions from the baking tray to a medium-sized pan. Now add the second teaspoon of oil, then, using a wooden spoon, stir in the plain flour. Stir all this together over a medium heat and then switch to a whisk, then gradually add the stock to the pan, whisking all the time, until it's all in. Then bring it up to simmering point and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Taste to check the seasoning, then pour into a warmed serving jug. When the toad is ready, it should be puffed brown and crisp and the centre should look cooked and not too squidgy. Serve it immediately with the gravy, and it's absolutely wonderful with mashed potato.

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Old 11-18-2004, 04:11 PM   #2
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This really takes me back, Ishbel! Appreciated your Yorkies recipe also!
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Old 11-18-2004, 05:15 PM   #3
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I love Delia Smith's recipe books, they are all 'idiot-proof' and must have been tested and retested a hundred times. I have never had one of her recipes go wrong! Things like her marmalade bread and butter pudding are now standard UK classics. When her TV shows were on here, and she recommended a recipe with a hard to find ingredient or used a special pan or spatula - the shops all ran out of the item! Is she known in the US at all?

Are you an ex-pat or do you have British parents?
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Old 11-18-2004, 05:18 PM   #4
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I am unfamiliar with her, but others among us may know.

Your recipe above sounds excellent! I have been waiting for a Brit to post this dish. What do you suppose would approximate English sausages here in the US? How much does it matter?
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Old 11-18-2004, 05:36 PM   #5
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I'm sure Ishbel has a better answer than I do, but I have never found an "American" type that even comes close to the English sausages. I usually resort to getting mine from an import shop. They are more expensive, but definitely worth it.
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Old 11-18-2004, 05:41 PM   #6
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thanks, Dawnsey. I will ask my good Brit buddy here (who doesn't cook much) if her special place carries them. She gets British chocolates from some import place near me that also sells British cars (weird combo, I know).
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Old 11-18-2004, 06:03 PM   #7
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Dawnsey is right. I've never had sausages in the USA that taste like ours. Not sure that US sausages would do for this recipe - but you could always try them 8) After all, cooking is often an adventure, isn't it!
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Old 11-18-2004, 08:44 PM   #8
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Are we talking about "Bangers" here? Very heady taste of mace and nutmeg? I had quite a few of bangers in Mildenhall and that was the profound difference in my recollection. Would you agree, or am I way off base here, ladies?
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Old 11-19-2004, 03:05 AM   #9
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The herbs used by butchers in the UK are often a 'trade secret' - but mace, nutmeg, sage and winter savory are just some of the flavours that are used. I prefer pork sausages, made with a very high meat content, with little filler (rusk) in the mixture, but other people swear that it is the fat content which gives the flavour.... I'm not too keen on a heart-attack on a plate!

Cumberland sausage is a sausage in a long continuous spiral that can fill a frying pan
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Old 11-19-2004, 11:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel
I'm not too keen on a heart-attack on a plate!
Ahem. Here, here!

Thanks for the description, Ishbel. Sometimes my memory takes a left turn into stupidity. Glad that wasn't the case here.
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