Monday, September 13, 2010

Ace Toad in the Hole

Well, just the name of this recipe had me hooked! I adore Toad in the Hole, and have mostly used Delia Smiths recipe until now.  When I saw this recipe in the lead up to the release of Nigella's new book
Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home
and just knew I was going to have to try it.  What I like about it is the idea of smaller bits of sausage, and the copious amounts of yorkshire pudding batter.  To be fair, this almost had too much batter, and I think next time I might adjust the quantities a bit.  I also found that there was enough fat in my sausages for cooking them and that the extra fat was too much.  I suppose that depends on what sausages you use- I used some I had bought from our local farmers market, and they were utterly delicious, so next time I use these sausages for this recipe I won't add the extra fat!
The other thing I loved about this recipe was the stove top to oven aspect of it.  Starting on the hob then transfering to the oven made this such an easy meal to prepare, it is perfectly possible to do this mid week.  The onion gravy was also great, I made it up while the toad was in the oven, simmered it down to give extra flavour.
All in all, a delicious and easy meal which I will absolutely be making again!

Nigella's Ace Toad in the Hole

SERVES 4-6

    * 350ml full-fat milk
    * 4 large organic eggs
    * pinch salt
    * 250g plain flour

    * 400g good pork sausages (6 in number)
    * 1 x 15ml tablespoon goose fat, vegetable shortening or oil
    * 4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for serving if wished

KITCHEN KIT:

1 x round roasting tin approx 28cm diameter, or small rectangular roasting tin approx 30cm x 20cm

   1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Whisk the milk and eggs together with the salt, then whisk in the flour, beating to make a smooth batter. I find this way round makes for a lighter batter.
   2. Press the sausage meat out of its casing (you may need to nick the skin with a knife), half a sausage at a time, rolling it in your hands to form a ball and then squash gently to make a little, fat patty. You should get 12 patties from the 6 sausages.
(I just cut the sausages into four pieces, skin and all, and it worked fine!)
   3. Heat the fat or oil in a heavy-based, flame-safe roasting tin on the hob and brown the patties for about 1 minute each side: you need do no more than make them look enticingly brown.
   4. With the patties and oil still hot, pour in the batter and quickly drop in the sprigs of thyme. Absolutely immediately put into the oven for about 40 minutes or until the edges of the batter have risen and turned golden, and the eggy middle has set.
   5. Serve immediately, scattered with a thyme sprig or two or just a few leaves and with gravy (for example, the onion one below) if you feel you can only properly enjoy Yorkshire pud when it’s sauce-sogged.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE:

The batter can be made a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. The sausages can be formed into patties a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

ONION GRAVY:

Warm 2 tablespoons of fat or oil and then cook 2 onions, peeled, halved and very finely sliced, until soft (about 10 minutes). Add 2 teaspoons sugar, and let the onions cook, caramelising a little, for another 3 or so minutes, before stirring in 4 teaspoons flour then 500ml meat stock. When thickened and hot, add a glug of marsala to taste.

2 comments:

Paula said...

What a great blog!

This looks so delicious!

Have a nice time!
Paula

Lucie said...

Yum! This looks so hearty and comforting - perfect autumn food.