The Cookbook

A collection of favorite recipes

Toad in the Hole

Posted by Sylvia on Mon 8 December 2008

I moved to Oldham in Northern England in 1992 and found I couldn’t get the ingredients for my tex-mex dishes and seafood salads. I learned a new repertoire of dishes based on “something that will stick to the ribs” but the one that I struggled with most was required every Sunday lunch: Yorkshire Pudding. I’m not sure why it seemed such a big deal but I felt frustrated that I could not quite get just the right amount of crispy and fluffy bits to go with the gravy. Meanwhile, everyone else was buying individual puddings at the supermarket and wondering why I was wasting my time.

The breakthrough was when I followed a recipe in an American cookbook. My mother bought me the Compleat I Hate to Cook Book as a joke. I noticed she had a recipe for High-Rise Yorkshire Pud. Her ratio of ingredients seems to be just right:

1 cup unsifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk

I’m glad that I ended up persevering because although I no longer do a big Sunday roast with all the trimmings, I regularly make Toad in the Hole which doesn’t work well with the supermarket version. I still use Peg Bracken’s recipe. The process is built up over many Sundays of experimenting to get it just right. ;)

* Batter as above
* Six good quality sausages, pricked with a fork
* Gravy

Mix the Yorkshire Pudding batter until just combined and leave in fridge to chill, at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to as hot as it will go (450F 225C usually).

Put a tablespoon of lard or other rendered fat into a roasting tin (oil will smoke and burn) and place it into the oven. Once the tin is hot and the fat just about spitting, place your sausages into the tin and pour over the well-chilled Yorkshire Pudding batter. Return to the oven and turn down the heat to 200C/400F. Leave to bake for 50 minutes.

I serve this with a onion gravy:

Carmelise the onions with a tablespoon of sugar for 20-30 minutes, stir in flour. Add beef broth and red wine and a tablespoon of mustard. Season with Worcester Sauce. Allow this to simmer and bubble for 20 minutes or so (I start the gravy when I put the toad in the hole in the oven).