British cuisine often gets a bad wrap. I have spoken with many people who feel it is unadventurous, stodgy and lacks seasoning. Italian, Spanish and French cuisine usually seem to come out on top, and but I would like to take this moment to wave the banner for traditional British food.
One of the best dishes, in my opinion, is Toad in the Hole. This delightfully named treat is the ultimate comfort food and thankfully does not contain any actual toads! This dish goes back hundreds of years and was a way to use up scraps of meat. Now-a-days most people use sausages, and it gets it’s name because the meat or sausages resemble toads poking their heads up out of a crevice in the ground.
The bulk of the dish is Yorkshire Pudding, which is a traditional accompaniment to a Sunday Roast. If you have never tried a Yorkshire Pudding I urge you to do so immediately. You have no idea what you have been missing. The best recipe by far is from James Martin, who stole (borrowed) it from his Grandmother. It uses a lot of eggs but is worth it.
Toad in the Hole is an easy midweek meal and if you are pushed for time you can always use a store bought Yorkshire Pudding batter. It is also vegetarian friendly if you use veggie sausages and a veggie gravy. Oh yes, it works well with a rich gravy poured on top and served alongside mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower or peas.
Give this recipe a try and I promise you’ll find an appreciation for British cuisine!
- 8 eggs
- 200g plain flour (I used self raising and it was fine)
- 1 pint of milk
- Beef dripping (optional) I didn’t use it but I bet it makes them taste even better.
- 6 sausages, cooked through (You can use any flavour of sausage you prefer but I find Pork and Leek or Pork and Sage quite nice)
- Mix the eggs, plain flour and milk together in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon
- Cover with cling film and pop the mixture into the fridge to cool overnight. (You don’t have to leave the mixture overnight but it does benefit from resting for awhile)
- When you’re ready to make your toad in the hole, cook the sausages and set to one side
- Preheat the oven 220°C /200°C Fan Assisted/ Gas Mark 7
- Pour the beef dripping if using into a medium sized casserole dish about a quarter of the way (or use olive oil, which is what I use)
- Once your oven has warmed up pop the dish into the oven and leave for about 10-15 minutes for the beef drippings to heat up or for the olive oil to start smoking. (Heating the oil or dripping is very important to the success of the Yorkshire mixture)
- Take the Yorkshire pudding mixture out of the fridge and gently stir to get back it’s original consistency.
- Take dish out the oven, with an oven glove, and carefully pour the mixture into the holes. The mixture should begin to cook
- Add the sausages. You can add them whole or cut them in half or thirds, whatever you prefer
- Place back into the oven and cook for 30 minutes until the top is golden and crisp.