The return to the cold weather had me feeling all nostalgic for cosy winter tea’s this week. I toyed around with the idea of a hearty beef and ale pie but decided to save that for a bigger occasion than a simple Sunday dinner.
I like the idea of Toad in the Hole but when it comes to the actual eating of it I’m always a bit disappointed, but I happened across a recipe in Jamie’s Great Britain which was a bit more than the bog standard toad in the hole with onion gravy. I was given this book by my lovely work colleagues for my birthday in the summer and I’m glad to have a recipe from this one make it onto the blog, so without further ado here it is…!
Toad in the Hole with a Twist
This recipe serves 6
For the Batter
3 large eggs, 100g plain flour, 250ml semi skimmed milk, pinch of salt
For the Sausage and Gravy
2 large onions, 3 eating apples, a knob of butter, olive oil, 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (or a teaspoon of dried which I used) salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons runny honey, 12 Sausages (I used pork and apple and can highly recommend them!) 1 tablespoon plain flour, 250ml good cider, 250ml beef stock, Worcestershire Sauce
Phew – there’s a reason I don’t usually type recipes…
Anyway – whisk all the batter ingredients together and set to one side. Jamie doesn’t cook the sausages in the batter which for me is a travesty – who wants their toad and hole cooked separately?! So I deviated from the recipe a bit at this point. The reason Jamie doesn’t cook the sausages in the batter is because they look pale and anaemic, so I cooked mine in the oven at 240 degrees first until they went golden brown and sausagey.
Whilst the sausages were in the oven I chopped the onions and the apple and cooked them in the melted butter and oil with the rosemary leaving on a low heat until softened. After 20 minutes or so I lifted the sausages out of the oven and poured the batter straight in to the sausage pan. Then popped that back in the oven for 10 minutes or so (I’d recommend checking at 10 but leaving up to 15 minutes because I like my batter a bit cripsy).
Whilst the sausage and batter were finishing in the oven I turned my attention back to the apple and onion mixture, adding the flour, cider, stock and Worcestershire sauce and bringing to the boil. Once its boiled bring it down to a simmer leaving it until it thickens.
Then, the moment of truth, time to lift the the sausages out of the oven – luckily it all worked out fine and the batter was huge!!
I served it with broccoli and green beans for Mr Gem, spinach for myself (end of the month fridge…!) and it was delicious. Because the gravy was apple and cider based it was much sweeter than a traditional onion gravy and it made the dinner feel a bit more special than a bog standard Toad in the Hole.
Perfect for a wintery Sunday dinner!