My buddy Rick popped into my office the other day, and for some reason that escapes my memory we launched into a discussion about toad in the hole. Rick is quite a character. From what I gather, he was expelled from the U.K. for a parking ticket, hung out with Cat Stevens, stole a tie from Frank Sinatra, and also had toad in the hole every Friday at boarding school (right after the weekly beating). I don't know if I’ll have it every Friday, but this recipe is definitely a repeat.
Toad in the hole is basically roasted sausages that get doused in Yorkshire pudding batter and the whole thing cooks up into a kind of sausage cake. I presume the name hails from the way the sausages look like toads poking their heads out of the mud, but for all I know, and knowing England, maybe it was really made with toads at one time. (Don't tell Mr. Jackson, although I'm sure Mrs. Tittlemouse would be relieved -- appropriately appalled, but relieved.)
This particular recipe is a mash-up of a couple from the web. The rosemary idea is from Jamie Oliver, the batter is pretty standard, and the gravy from the BBC. First thing is to get the oven heated to 450.
The Piggy Market. English bangers are an obviously good choice, but pick whatever you like, I’m sure it will all be brilliant. Our dear friends at the BBC suggest wrapping each sausage in bacon, which I am profoundly in favour of. It suits my over-the-top approach to cooking and eating just fine! One bit of advice, poke the sausage casings with a toothpick (that comes all the way from China – if you have one) – this will help prevent an explosion in the oven.
Dutch Baby pancake. You'll need 115 g of flour (hilarious, this is just less than a cup), 285 ml of milk (even more hilarious -- try and measure that! -- aim for somewhere between 275 and 300 ml), 3 eggs (I am surprised it isn't 2.87 eggs), and a pinch (a gabillion molecules) of salt. Mix the eggs and milk first, then whisk in the flour. Put it in a big measuring cup while you wait for the rest of your 20 minutes to go by -- this will make it easier to pour.
There are a couple of schools of thought on Yorkshire pudding batter. One says it's essential that you let it rest for half-an-hour or so, the other says it makes no difference. I belong to the Whatever school which states that if you have about half-an-hour to wait anyway, you might as well make the batter early, then if there is a benefit you get it and if there isn't then it doesn't matter. Right? Right!
red cabbage, and/or mashed potatoes, or if you want to be truly authentic, peas that have been boiled into oblivion. I’ll leave all that up to you – my preferred side dish is … a beer!
p.s. If you happen to be attending the Resource Modelling conference that Rick is hosting in Ottawa this coming summer, you may know by now that I have volunteered to be the barbecue pit boss at the event. This is exacly the kind of heart-healthy fare you can expect, so bring your nitro glycerine tablets, Pepto Bismol, Tums, and minty gum and get ready to party!!