Toad in a hole
One of my wife’s favourite foods, is one of the most simple and over looked items, which we in SA usually reserve for breakfasts…. Pork Sausages, otherwise known as “Bangers”.
There is actually so much you can do with them to make quick and easy meals, I can pretty much understand why they are such a big thing in the UK, where most people are too lazy to cook themselves, due to the wide variety of take-outs that are available. It’s also the variety available in their stores however, that would stop me from EVER getting take-away’s over there in the first place (eating out is another matter all together).
Claire’s Cousin, Katharine Hubble, arrived from the UK on Saturday to do some work here for the next few weeks. She arrived with BAGS and BAGS of presents from the family in the UK, and we had a bit of an early Christmas present opening session. Cabhán was delighted with all his presents, and so was I with mine, which was a book on some of the most famous British recipes, everything from Steak and kidney puddings, to Lemon meringue pie.
Going through the recipes reminded me just of how much I miss the UK. Now I’ve only been there once (for an extended period of time anyway), but I was left gob smacked at the variety of things available that people take for granted. Hell, there were about 15 different types of potatoes to be found at the local grocer just down the road from where we stayed with Katherine last year. Ones for boiling, others for roasts, 4 different floury types for mash… and that was just the beginning. It also doesn’t help that about 80% of my friends I grew up with are all staying in the UK now either. Don’t get me wrong, I love SA with all my heart, We have the best weather anywhere, and some of the most beautiful countrysides in the world, I just really miss the variety, not having to battle to visit friends who are now hundreds and thousand of kilometres away, Picking up the phone hand having the latest gadget dropped of at your door the next morning (not having to wait 6 weeks for Amazon to track it down when the SA Post office has lost it)
While I can dream and fantasise as much as I want about living in the UK or Geneva, its not gonna happen any time soon (if ever). So at least for now I can cook their food and pretend. (Thanks to the Hubble’s, in the UK for the lovely book to help me to entertain my fantasies)
When I was going through the book, Claire looked at me and ask “Ohh My love, do we still have Yorkshire puddings in the Freezer? “Of course we didn’t. So yesterday, I made not only Yorkshire pudding, but also the pork sausages she loves so much, and combined them into what the British call “Toad in a hole“. This is NOT how I normally make my Yorkshire puddings (I’ll write up about that recipe later of anyone wants it though as its also pretty fool proof)
Unfortunately I never took any photo’s again, But you can quickly google it, or just click here as they all look, pretty much look the same. It is however a REALLY easy meal to make. I know I say that with everything I have written about, though this has got to be the simplest dish to date, and the quantities are almost 150 of everything (half for the butter). You can make it as complicated as you like, and even make it really fancy. Jamie Oliver has a lovely version of it on his website as well, if you want to check out at: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pork-recipes/toad-in-the-hole.
Toad in the Hole:
- 500g Pork sausages, about 8 off them (or what ever type you want really)
- 150g Flour
- 150ml Milk
- 1 large Egg
- Pinch of Salt
- 3 Onions
- 75g butter
- 150ml Vegetable stock
- 150ml Masala Wine
Sift the Flour and salt together in a bowl and form a “well” in the middle
Beat the egg with a whisk, and then fold it into half of the milk
Slowly mix the egg and milk mixture in with the flour.
Add the rest of the milk and beat together.
Let it rest for 30 min
Now Pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees C. Slice the onions up finely, and add them to a frying pan with the butter. The catch to making this really good, is to put it on the lowest heat you can, and let it cook REALLY slowly, for about 30-40 minutes. Just don’t forget to stir it every now and then. You pretty much want the Onions to turn nice and brown, almost melting away as they caramelise. When they look ready to you, Add in the Veggie stock and the Masala wine, and let it simmer and reduce to the consistency that you like in your gravy, you can add some salt and pepper if you want, I didn’t.
For the “Toad in the hole”, place the sausages into a greased oven proof dish, about 25cm square, sprinkle them with a bit of oil (lard if you have) and place them into the oven. You want to turn them over as they start to colour, but not too brown (should be about 10 minutes), and the fat from the sausages is sizzling nicely. Take the dish out, and quickly pour over the batter for the Yorkshire pudding (thats the batter you made in the first step) and return the dish to the oven for about 35-45 minutes (all depends on your oven really, ours was down in about 30 min with the thermo-fan on)
If you get your timing right again, your gravy should be done just as you take the dish out the oven. Pour the gravy over the “toad” and serve with what ever you want. I went with Mushy peas (Another of my wife’s Favourites… I wonder if she even realised yesterday that I cooked specifically for her tastes), and a Salad, which we never made, but it was the thought that counted
All that was missing was Sky news and a pint of cider with my mates at the local pub afterwards… But it was really good to close my eyes for a little bit, and just pretend