Sunday 3 June 2012

Toad-in-the-hole fit for a Queen

So, after all the build up and all the bunting the Diamond Jubilee is finally here. Congratulations to Her Majesty for 60 years as our Queen, as second to only Queen Victoria she is one of our longest reigning Monarchs, which goes to show that women really do have more stamina! I remember the Golden Jubilee this time 10 years ago. I hopped on a plane to Rome and had a long weekend away with the girls. And I have to admit I’m skipping town again this year. Not very patriotic I know and I promise you it’s definitely not an anti-Monarchy statement, in fact I quite like the Royal Family (N can confirm I have a particularly weird obsession with Kate Middleton’s wardrobe)! It’s just that when someone gives you 4 days off in a row I just can’t say no to a holiday!

But we did honour the Jubilee last night by a celebration of all things British…dreary weather and bad Saturday evening TV! But the highlight was the quintessential of all British dishes, toad-in-the-hole. For those of you who haven’t made it before please trust me when I say don’t ever buy a ready-made version ever again. They just don’t cut the mustard, and as it’s so easy to make you won’t ever have to. For those of you who are vegetarian or don’t eat pork the sausages can easily be substituted with a vegetarian version, although you may have to adjust the cooking time a little. Or try pouring the batter into a greased muffin tray for great Yorkshire puddings, just be careful not to fill it too much as they rise.

So, for those of you staying around for the celebrations I hope you have a wonderful time and I hope the weather holds out for you. I am off to a Turkish cooking class in Istanbul so I’ll be sure to report back with some great recipes when I return.

(serves 2-3 | prep and cooking time 1 hour)


  • ½ an onion (red or white) – cut in into wedges with layers separated
  • 6 thick good quality pork sausages
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 medium egg
  • 150ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • The leaves of 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary
  • Black pepper to season

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan
  • Put the onions into a shallow non-stick oven dish
  • Put the sausages on top of the onion and drizzle over the olive oil
  • Shake the tray so the oil coats the bottom of it
  • Put in the oven for 20 minutes
  • In the meantime make the batter. Sift the flour into a large bowl, drop the egg into the centre and beat the milk in a little at a time until it makes a smooth batter
  • Stir in the mustard, thyme and seasoning
  • After 20 minutes remove the sausages from the oven and pour the batter in quickly while the oil is still hot
  • Return to the oven for 20-40 minutes until the batter has risen and is golden.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables

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