Keep the family happy with easy toad in the hole

Nobody's going to win any Michelin stars serving up sausages in batter. Even pubs tend to leave it off the menu these days. But when you are looking for a cheap, filling and delicious family supper, it's difficult to beat easy toad in the hole.

The sausages< are the most expensive element of the dish, and it's best to go for quality, even if it means buying fewer. Look for high meat content. Plump sausages always work best in this dish.

Lightly oil your baking dish and arrange the sausages evenly. Brown them initially for around ten minutes while you make your batter mixture.

Your batter should follow the recipe for Yorkshire pudding. Whisk together 225g of plain flour, 4 eggs and 250ml of milk or a mixture of milk and water. Using a little beer in the liquid will make your batter airier and crisper. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the batter over your sausages so they are mostly covered but are emerging from the surface to brown nicely in the oven.

Return the dish to the oven and bake for a further 30 minutes or until the batter has risen and is brown and crispy on the surface.

Toad in the hole is not the sort of dish to serve with a side salad. Instead go for hearty, classic English accompaniments like mashed potato and rich onion gravy. A little cider in the gravy adds a rustic touch. Serve with English mustard or, for traditionalists, brown sauce.

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