Recipe: Toad-in-the-hole with peas and onion gravy

I'M FORTUNATE THAT my mum always made my family Yorkshire puddings from scratch.  I really can't think of anything sadder than a big roast dinner with those disgusting pre-made 'products' out of a packet. On the other hand, I can't think of a more comforting supper sausages, a tasty onion gravy with peas all housed in a giant Yorkie - that's my type of grub.

We all know by now that James Martin has left Saturday Kitchen and watching him make this dish on his latest show, Kitchen Comforts, put me in the mood for toad-in-the-hole.  I have sausages for tea once a week and I love trying different butchers' efforts.  Many of you will be prone to buying your sausages from the supermarket, but I urge you to give your local butcher a try; you'll notice the difference in quality straight away - even against premium supermarket offerings.

Ingredients (serves 4):

12x butcher's sausages (I like sampling different varieties)
Four medium onions, sliced
200g organic plain flour, sifted
Six free-range eggs
Pinch of sea salt
Tbsp English mustard
Pint of full fat organic milk
Pint of chicken stock
150g peas
75g beef dripping
25g butter
White pepper


1) First, make the batter.  Place the eggs in a bowl with the sifted flour, pinch of salt and mustard then add gradually add the milk, whisking as you go.  Whisk until the ingredients are incorporated and leave in the fridge overnight (If you just fancy it but can't wait, rest it for at least 20 mins before using).

2) Turn the oven on at 220C/Gas mark 7. Place a frying pan on a medium heat.  Add a splash of oil and colour the sausages all over.  Set aside and cool the pan down slightly.

3) Add a tsp of beef dripping and place on a low heat.  Sweat the onions for 10-12 mins until soft and starting to colour.  Add the beef stock and gently simmer in order to reduce.

4) Add the beef dripping into a deep oven dish and place in the oven to melt.  Allow it to reach a high heat in the oven (it should be sizzling when you drop a little of the batter mix in).

5) Work from the oven at this point, being careful not to splash the hot dripping on yourself.  Add the sausages quickly followed by the batter.  Return to the oven and keep the door shut for at least 35 mins.

6) In the meantime, your gravy should be reducing down, but make sure to stir now and again.  In a pot of boiling, salted water, blanch the peas for a minute then set aside.

7) After 35 mins, check that the toad-in-the-hole isn't starting to burn.  Turn the oven down to around 180C for further 8-10 mins. Remove and allow to rest for 5 mins before serving.

8) Melt the butter in a pan.  Add the peas and season.  Allow to warm through for a minute or so.

9) Divide the toad-in-a-hole into portions and serve with the peas and a big glug of onion gravy.


  1. It may only be breakfast time as I read this, but I fancy a giant Yorkshire Pudding now! If only I could find decent Veggie Sausages... One day!

    1. Potential business opportunity!?


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