toad in the hole
This is about as British as you can get, when it comes to starter recipes! Toad in the hole is a dish where sausages are cooked in a Yorkshire pudding batter. We have taken inspiration from that recipe to create these mini toad in the holes. You will need 4 Yorkshire pudding cups to make it, or else just use 4 large muffin cups or similar. The Yorkshire pudding batter is divided between the cups, and then you can add cooked sausages and perhaps some green peas too. Bake them until they are golden brown and crispy, then serve with lashings of brown gravy. They look nice garnished with herb sprigs too.
If you want to serve this as a main dish rather than an appetizer, you might like to add some cooked onion and carrots to the Yorkshire pudding cups, and consider adding sliced beef instead of cocktail sausages. Then serve each person a couple of these with hot, creamy mashed potato. You can get really creative with Yorkshire puddings actually; some people in the UK like to eat them with honey drizzled over them as a snack!
You can use cocktail sausages, frankfurters (chop them if they are the bigger ones) or cooked sausages (any kind) to make this dish, or you could use leftover roasted meat in gravy (or ‘au jus’) or anything else. You could even make vegetarian ones by adding extra veggies and leaving out the sausages. Yorkshire pudding batter is really versatile. You can make it any shape or size, and take your pick from various fillings.
This hearty English recipe is made by adding pork sausages to Yorkshire pudding batter, and it is especially good served with mashed potatoes and vegetables, along with onion gravy or your favourite brown gravy. It is believed the name comes from the dish’s resemblance to toads poking their heads out of holes. Another name for it is ‘sausage toad’ but that is rarely heard any more. A toad in the hole recipe dating back to 1861 calls for ‘any kind of cheap meat purchased in the evening when it is cheaper than during the day’ rather than sausages. Other historical recipes call for battered leftover stew meat or even whole pigeons!
We like to make this with big, fat, juicy, herbed pork sausages, either putting them directly into the Yorkshire pudding batter or replacing their skins with wafer-thin slices of prosciutto, Parma ham, Serrano ham or streaky bacon instead. Yorkshire pudding is made with flour, eggs and milk or water, along with optional mustard, and it is often served with beef and gravy, as part of the typical Sunday roast dinner. Some people even have Yorkshire pudding as a dessert with syrup or honey.
Historically, Yorkshire pudding was smothered in thick gravy and eaten as a starter recipe, or appetizer, to fill the belly with cheap ingredients so people would not eat so much costly meat during the next course. You will find our toad in the hole recipe simple to follow, and it makes a tasty, filling meal for cold autumn or winter evenings. The kids will love this as much as the grownups, and served with a pile of steaming mashed potatoes and some vegetables, everyone can expect to leave the dinner table perfectly full and happy. Continue reading
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