10:46 | Posted by Nim Headland | Category

Toad in the Hole with Proper Onion Gravy

Toad in the hole is rarely done well, but when it is it is a joy. Proper comfort food. I've been fiddling with toad recipes for a good few years now, and have finally found the perfect one (for me). Nothing fancy, just classic toad that works every time. It's nearly Nigel Slater's recipe from Real Food, but not quite. The gravy to go with it is Nigel through and through.

For 4 you'll need:

125g plain flour (sifted)
150ml milk mixed with 150ml cold water
2 eggs
2 teaspoons English mustard
6 awesome pork sausages.
3 tablespoons lard

Wack your oven on full. Put the lard into a roomy dish or roasting tin and put that in the oven to get smoking hot. Whisk together your flour, eggs and milk and water mixture until smooth. You want it about the consistency of double cream. Rest the batter for 15 minutes and brown your sausages in a pan or under the grill. By now the fat in the roasting tin should be super hot, quickly pour in the batter (it will sizzle) and arrange the sausages in the batter, making sure they've got room around them to let the batter puff up. Put it back in the oven as fast as you can, and don't even think about peeking until it's had 25 minutes. In all it'll probably take 35 to 40, depending how hot your oven goes. Mine took 40 mins at 200oc.

Serve with peas and onion gravy - here's the recipe:

Nigel's Browned Onion and Madeira Gravy:

You'll need about 75g butter
2 large onions, peeled and very thinly sliced. One red and one white onion would look nice.
About a level tablespoon of flour
75ml Madeira, Marsala or red wine (I made mine with wine, it made the gravy a bit pink, but still delicious)
250ml stock
Worcestershire sauce
My only addition to this recipe was a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, but feel free to leave it out.

Melt the butter in a pan, add the onions and cook over a low heat until really golden and soft. This takes ages, but is really worth it. Continue cooking, covered with a lid, until the onions are truly brown and soft enough to crush between your fingers.
Stir in a level tablespoon of flour and cook for a few minutes until it has lightly browned, then pour in the stock and alcohol. Add the balsamic if using and season with salt, pepper and a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and allow the gravy to bubble gently for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.


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