For the toad in the hole you will need:
- 4 oz, 110 g, of plain flour.
- Half a level tsp of salt.
- 1 egg.
- A quarter of a pint, 5 fl.oz, of milk.
- A quarter of a pint, 5 fl.oz, of water.
- 8 thin pork or beef sausages cut in to bite sized pieces.
2 oz, 50 g of lard or other white hard vegetable cooking fat, or alternatively,
a little lard for greasing the tin.
Begin by heating the oven to hot, Gas Mark 7, 420 f, 220 c, 200 fan.
You will need a medium sized, deep sided roasting tin around about 8 inches
20 cm in diameter.
To make the batter:
- Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Break the egg into a separate small bowl to make sure that its fresh, then
pour it into a well in the centre of the flour.
Mix the milk and water together in a jug and add two tablespoons to the egg
and flour mixture.
Using a wooden spoon, working from the centre, gradually mix in the flour
from the edges, beating well until smooth.
Now, gradually add half the liquid, beating gently until the batter is smooth
- Stir in the remaining liquid.
Although this is the traditional way to make the batter, after you have added
all the liquid, you can beat it with an electric mixer or food processor
to help add plenty of air.
- For best results, cover the batter and leave it to rest for half an hour.
3 or 4 minutes before your batter has finished resting, , put your
lard into the roasting tin, then into the oven to melt and get very hot. Please
only leave it in there for 4 or 5 minutes before checking it as it will begin
to smoke quite quickly, please get sighted assistance if necessary.
- Drop the pieces of sausage into the hot fat and pour in your batter.
Put the tin straight in to your pre-heated oven.
if you are worried about dealing with hot fat, grease your tin
with a little lard, add your sausage, and pour in your batter while the
tin is cold, you should still achieve a good well risen batter.
Bake near the top of your oven for 45 to 50 minutes until the batter
is well risen and firm to the touch.
Don’t open the oven door until the toad in the hole is almost cooked or the
batter will sink and you will end up with a soggy flat mess.
For the Onion Sauce
You will need:
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped.
- 2 beef oxo cubes.
- 3 quarters of a pint, 15 fl.oz of cold water.
- 1 heaped tbsp of corn flour to thicken the gravy.
- A little olive oil to fry the onion.
- Put the chopped onion into a small saucepan with about 1 tbsp of olive oil.
Fry on a medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, to begin
to soften the onion.
Turn down the heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for a further
10 to 15 minutes until the onion is soft when tested with a fork.
Take the pan from the heat, crumble in the oxo cubes and add the cold water
and the corn flour.
Put the pan on a medium heat and stir, as you bring the gravy to the boil,
continuing to stir it constantly as it begins to thicken.
You can tell when it thickens by the way the spoon feels as you stir.
The texture will change, the spoon will slide easily along the base and
sides of the pan and the sound of the simmering liquid will alter too, from
a bubble to a quiet pop.
- Cook the gravy for a couple of minutes just to cook the corn flour.
It’s now ready to pour straight over your toad in the hole, or to move from
the heat, cover and leave to re-heat again later, just before you are ready
to “dish up.”