Toad in the hole is a dish I very much associate with my childhood, however, in the recent years it sadly hasn’t featured much in my life. Not because I don’t love it anymore… I really do, but if I’m being totally honest, I had kind of forgotten about it. Well, until now that is. I know, I feel ashamed at myself for even muttering those words, but it’s true, up until this year these amazing sausage filled Yorkshire puds were very much at the back of my mind.
It wasn’t until I was going through some of my old BBC GoodFood magazines earlier this year that I came across a stunning photo of an old school toad in the hole, but with a twist. The sausages were only wrapped in bloody bacon weren’t they! I decided that this was right up my street, especially as Pigs in Blankets are one of my favourite ever inventions. I just knew I had to make my own version immediately.
Since then I have made this dish several times and overall it’s been a pretty big hit. The red onion gravy is an absolute must too! Sweetened chunks of rosemary and thyme-infused red onion, poured on top of crispy bacon-wrapped sausages and fluffy Yorkshire pudding makes me wonder how I ever let toad in the hole leave my life for so long… Enjoy!
For the toad in the hole:
8 good quality herby sausages, skinned
12 smoked streaky bacon rashers
140g plain flour
4 large eggs
200ml whole milk
For the red onion gravy:
2 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons caster sugar
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons water
300ml red wine
500ml good quality chicken stock
Salt and fresh black pepper
Serve with some creamy mash or some crispy roast potatoes and some nice crunchy veg on the side
Begin by preheating oven to gas mark 8/220C or 200C for fan assisted ovens.
Mix the sausage meat in a large bowl and then separate out into 12 equal sized balls. Carefully wrap a rasher of bacon around each sausage ball and put into a large roasting tin and cook in your preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until beginning to brown.
While the sausages are cooking make your batter mix. Whisk the flour and eggs together with a pinch of salt and then slowly pour in the milk, little at a time until everything is well mixed and lump free. Once the sausages are done, turn the oven temperature up an extra 10C and pour the batter mix into the same tray. Put into the centre of the oven and leave to cook for 30-35 minutes without opening the door.
Meanwhile you can make your red wine gravy. Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and then gently fry the red onions for 10-15 minutes, or until soft.
Add in the sugar and water and mix well. Cook for a further 2 minutes before adding in your fresh herbs and garlic. After another couple of minutes pour in the plain flour and mix well. Cook out for a couple of minutes and then pour in the red wine and bring to a boil.
Reduce by a third and then add in the chicken stock. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Check to make sure the toad in the hole is cooked and then carefully remove the tray from the oven. Leave to sit while you season your gravy with salt and fresh black pepper and then dish up and serve with whatever sides you wish.