Toad in a Hole or Toad in the Hole (unsure of which is correct) is one of the great British classics that is made for the heavy gray days found hovering over its shores, especially at this time of year. Today’s recipe is from Jamie Oliver and he added rosemary which makes this only fuller in flavor. Anyone who wants a comforting meal will enjoy this, though remember two things: place a tray underneath the tin and don’t open the oven door until fully cooked.
While eating this last night, I watched Sleepless in Seattle and the funny thing is, this is a movie of my mother’s generation, so I grew up watching it with her. In fact, my mother and I spent the majority of my youth bonding over movies because we didn’t have a lot of money to do other things. Almost every time there is a film we’ve watched together (most of the time they are stupid romcoms that somehow mean something because they make us think of each other).
Nowadays, half our conversations involve stupid quotes from movies we have shared together, so there I was sitting in my room here in London and she was in New Zealand at work and we were texting quotes back and forth and I laughed every scene I thought she would enjoy. It’s funny the things that comfort even when they aren’t nearby, but I’m grateful for iMessage and the fact that we can chat about the silly things we have always bonded over.
It is unusual that I won’t have seen my mother for three years this coming April, and I’ve not seen my brother in over three years since last September. We are a family on different parts of the globe and though we barely see each other, it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since we were last in each other’s presence.
Maybe it’s the almost daily text messages or the monthly FaceTime catch ups where we laugh like we’re around the corner from each other. We aren’t a unique family in this modern world where so many people leave for whatever reason to live in another land and though it can be hard, in those small moments where we’re bonding over inside jokes or stupid movie quotes the world feels a lot smaller.
Toad in a Hole will always be a comfort in years to come when I have heavy gray days overhead and I just want something that’s sausages wrapped in a savory custard which has had some magical rising. It’s actually not as difficult to make as you could think and the magic of this recipe is that there is a homemade gravy that I would suggest making over and over again for any chance you get.
Toad in a Hole
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup flour
Pinch of salt
3/4 – 1 cup sunflower oil
6 large sausages
4 spits fresh rosemary
1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
2 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 vegetable stock bouillon
Preheat the oven to 240ºC/460F or the highest setting on your oven.
Place a large tray in the bottom shelf.
Pour enough sunflower oil into your tin until it comes approximately 1/2 inch up the sides. Place this in the oven.
Place the batter ingredients in a bowl and combine until smooth. Set aside.
Meanwhile, place the sausages in a frying pan and cook on medium heat until the juices run clear, approximately 10 minutes.
Add the sausages to the hot sunflower oil very carefully and bake for 3 minutes to come to the same temperature as the oven.
Remove from the oven and add the batter, add the rosemary sprigs.
Return to the oven and allow to cook until the batter has risen and is golden, approximately 20 minutes. Do not open the oven door until the batter is fully cooked.
Meanwhile, place the butter in frying pan on medium heat until bubbling, add the onion and garlic, cooking until soft and translucent. Add in the balsamic vinegar and simmer until slightly reduced.
Lastly, add the vegetable stock bouillon, stirring to combine and simmer the gravy until thick and reduced further.
Remove the from the oven and serve with the onion gravy.