NZ Forest Native Birds

Toad in the Hole

Bored with sausages but your family won’t eat them curried or with brown onion sauce? Well, my family won’t and I got so tired of grilled sausages I asked myself what else I could do with sausages—preferably something dead simple. Then I remembered how much they like my Yorkshire pudding, and how easy it is to make, and figured I might as well try Toad in the Hole. It went down a treat and is now one of our favourite meals. Best of all, it is very economical.

1½ to 2 sausages per person, cut in half.
3 TB (approx) beef dripping

Yorkshire Pudding:

1¼ cups milk (10 fluid ounces or half a pint)
2 eggs
4 TB plain flour (use a TB that holds 3 tsp or 15ml)
A few shakes of salt (about ¼ teaspoon; you don‘t need a lot because sausages are usually quite salty)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Sift flour and salt into medium sized bowl; add pepper. Make a well in the centre and break in the eggs. Add approx. half the milk and whisk well with a wire whisk (or hand-held electric mixer) until there are no lumps. Add rest of milk and whisk again. It’s supposed to be best to leave it to stand for several hours (presumably so you’re not adding fridge-cold batter to very hot fat) but I’ve not noticed any difference between batter made at the last minute and one left to stand. Spread the dripping in lumps over a large, shallow baking dish and put the dish in a 200°C (400°F) oven. With a convection oven you can use a slightly lower heat (follow the manufacturer’s recommendation) and can probably heat the pan of fat while the oven itself is heating. I do. It helps save power. Don’t do this if your oven is only fan-assisted because this type of oven,  like ordinary ovens, uses a top and bottom element until the oven comes up to heat, when the top element switches off. If you put your pan in this type of oven while it is heating up, the fat will catch fire. When the fat is smoking hot, give the batter another quick but thorough whisk, arrange the sausage halves evenly over the pan and pour the batter over them. If your oven doesn’t have a fan, make sure you place the pan towards the top of the oven. Cook for at least 20 minutes (preferably longer) until risen and well browned (and don’t open the oven until this stage or the batter will sink). Serve with your favourite vegetables (mashed potato is particularly good with Toad in the Hole) and gravy for those who like it.

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