14 August 2007

Toad in the Hole

When we were visiting my parents recently my dad made Toad in the Hole, and it totally brought me back to my childhood. While 100% German, my father always has had an undying love for English foods. The man can whip up soft pretzels from scratch and makes a mean sauerbraten, but he also adores bubble-and-squeak and roast with Yorkshire pudding. When us girls were younger, if we were very very good and asked nicely, he'd make us Toad in the Hole.

Not sure what exactly it is? Toad in the Hole is a simple (read: cheap) dish basically made up of sausages and Yorkshire pudding, baked together in the oven. And it is soooo good – sizzling sausages in a fluffy "popover" type thing, brown and crispy on top, soft in the center. Mmm. Easy to make and very tasty.

I've been craving Toad in the Hole nonstop since Christmastime. This past weekend apparently I was a very very good girl who asked nicely (or perhaps I just have a lovely Hubs), because Scott found a recipe and made me some Toad in the Hole. And it turned out great – a wee bit on nice and golden brown and he bought the wrong type of sausages (TURKEY??), but yummy nonetheless. Just a few more (dozen) pans of Toad in the Hole, and I'm sure he'll have it down pat. Practice makes perfect and all that…

Toad in the Hole


2 eggs
4 oz flour
1 c. milk
Salt and pepper
6-8 good-quality sausages (the smaller link-type of sausages, and make sure they have casings!)
2 Tbsp. lard or grease from the sausages

Preheat the oven to 400 F. On the stovetop over low heat, cook the sausages in a frying pan on all sides until nicely browned.. Do not prick the skins! Allow to cool.

Using an electric mixer (or whisk by hand) blend the eggs, milk, flour, and salt & pepper together until smooth. Allow the mixture to rest awhile.*

Slip the lard (or grease from cooking the sausages) into a baking pan** and place in the oven. Allow to heat up until the oil is visibly smoking.***

Quickly, but carefully, take out and rest on the top of the oven. Pour in the batter mixture. Then add the Sausages, parallel to each other, the length of the tin. Place back into the oven and bake for around half an hour until the batter is puffed up, golden brown and crispy. Eat immediately, before it starts to deflate!

Serve with onion gravy, if you're that kind of person. Serves 2 or 3 as a main meal.


* The key to a great Yorkshire pudding is to let the batter rest for about half an hour before baking.
** Use a metal pan - an 8- or 9-inch square works well . The batter will not crisp in a ceramic or glass dish.

*** The hotter the fat is when the batter first hits it, the poofier the end result.

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