Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole. An interesting name for an interesting dish.

Among some of the most traditional British eats is this simple, cheap meal. Having been mentioned as far back as the late 1700’s, it is presumed this dish has existed for several years prior to adopting the funny name ‘Toad in the Hole’. Made from scraps of meat left at the end of the day at the butcher, and a batter mix, the meal is very cheap to make, which is probably what led to it’s popularity throughout the years. As time went by, these scraps were traded for sausages, and the name ‘Toad in the Hole’ is thought to have arisen because the sausage ends look like frog eyes popping up from the hole in the ground. Speculation though. You can draw your own conclusions.

I decided to make this to celebrate Guy Fawkes night, and after much raving from colleagues throughout the office, I knew it would be a hit even before attempting it. I found some recipes to get a general idea of what it includes, and went off to make my own version of it with what I had laying around. And here we are.

The ingredients:
6 Sausages, we used spicy ones
6 Strips of bacon
2 regular white onions, diced
3 beef bullion cubes, mixed with about a cup(+/-) of boiling water(or beef stock)
Whole wheat flour; self raising(baking soda/powder and salt added)
Mustard or Soy Sauce
Milk
2-3 eggs
Garlic glove, pressed
A few teaspoons of butter or oil.

Boil or cook the sausage until close to finished, but not quite. Remove and wrap each sausage with one slice of bacon and place on a tray. Scatter half of the onion on top and pop in the oven to cook until very lightly browned. Don’t worry if they aren’t completely finished, as they will cook more in the dish itself.IMG_4239

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For the batter, I put the eggs in a bowl and added a good bit of flour, maybe 250g or 2 cups, give or take. As I think I mentioned before, I don’t use measuring cups. Extra dishes to clean and laziness leave me approximating each time instead. 150-200 or so ml of milk, the pressed garlic clove, and mix it all together. I’d suggest adding the milk slowly to get the consistency right and to make sure you don’t add too much. In the end, the mix was similar to the consistency of brownie batter.

I made less batter than I should have, intentionally, knowing that Joe was leaving and we didn’t want to have much, if any, leftovers. If you want to do it properly, I would suggest doubling what I used for the flour, egg and milk. We put that in the oven to begin cooking, and after about 5 minutes, took it out and added the sausages and onion to it. That went back in the oven, and while it cooked we made the onion gravy.

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For the gravy, saut√© the diced onion you have left with the butter until brown, add the beef stock, a tablespoon(again, +/- to taste) of mustard or soy sauce, a bit of flour to thicken, and stir until a nice gravy mix is had. Take the dish out of the oven once brown and a stick comes out clean from the middle. Serve onto plates, pour some gravy on top, and you’re done!
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Total time? Probably 15 minutes for us. Total cost? Ridiculously cheap. Maybe £2 per serving? And given the reduced batter, ours served about 4, or about 1.25 Joes, even though we used 6 sausages.IMG_4257

This was one of the easiest and cheapest recipes we’ve tried so far. Next time, I plan on either doubling the batch or using a smaller pan so the batter properly overflows like it’s meant to. Maybe I’ll make that when I make my way across the pond. All our recipes seem to come here, it’s about time we reciprocate!