This classic English dish is cooked in a crispy Yorkshire pudding with savory pork sausages. Serve with gravy on top for the ultimate comfort food.
Toad in the hole. It may not sound like something you would want to put in your mouth, but once you learn what it is, you’ll find that it’s actually an epic dish!
If you’ve never tried or heard of toad in the hole your entire life, you are in for a treat, my friend. Not only will I tell you what this strange-sounding dish is all about, but I will also teach you how to make it, and give you tips and tricks on how to perfect it.
Don’t worry, because it is effortless to make! I promise you; you need not be a kitchen pro or a wildlife expert to whip up this dish.
Plus, did I mention how ridiculously tasty this dish is? Once you’ve tried it, I’m sure you’ll add it to your menu rotation.
What Is a Toad in the Hole?
Now to answer the million-dollar question. Toad in the hole, also called Sausage Toad, is an English dish made with sausages covered with Yorkshire pudding batter and baked to perfection.
You may eat it as is, but it is usually topped with onion gravy and served with veggies.
The dish goes all the way back to the 18th century and is said to have been created by the poor to stretch their meat.
So why on earth is it called toad in the hole? Well, according to our British friends, the sausages seem like they are peeping through the pudding, which somewhat makes them look like toads poking their heads out of their burrows as they wait for prey. Not sure if I agree with this, but it sure is tasty!
But, you know what, let’s just forget about the name, and focus on this: smoky and savory sausages wrapped in a blanket of crisp Yorkshire pudding. Now, doesn’t that sound fantastic?
How to Make Toad in the Hole
For this easy peasy toad in the hole recipe, you will only need a few basic pantry ingredients.
8 links of pork sausage
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
salt and pepper (to taste)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Pour the vegetable oil into the bottom of a baking dish. Place the sausages in the dish in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.
3. While waiting, whisk flour, eggs, and 1/2 cup of milk in a medium bowl. Gradually mix in the rest of the milk until the mixture forms a smooth batter. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Take the sausages out of the oven and pour the batter over them, covering them 3/4 of the way. Place the dish back into the oven and bake for another 35 minutes or until the center has risen and turned golden brown. If the underside seems a little soft - that's okay, that’s how it’s supposed to be.
What to Serve with Toad in the Hole
As I’ve said, toad in the hole is traditionally served with onion gravy. And I’m here to teach you how to make a super easy yet drool-worthy gravy.
Normally gravy is made with the meat juices of a roast, but since we’re not working with one, we’ll need to improvise.
To give the gravy a deep and luscious flavor, cook it with red onions! Caramelize some onions in sugar and butter for 15-20 minutes, and whisk in flour and beef stock. Season with salt, pepper, and another secret ingredient: Worcestershire sauce.
As for the sides, well, you can never go wrong with some simple creamy mashed potatoes and roasted veggies.
Tips and Tricks
- Give the batter some time to rest in the fridge before you use it. Leaving it there for 30 minutes will allow the flour to rise, which will give you crisp, light, and even Yorkshire pudding.
- Use a metal baking dish instead of ceramic. Metal absorbs heat well, and you want your cooking vessel to get as hot as possible. It is important for the vegetable oil to be super hot and bubbly as this will help the Yorkshire pudding to rise well.
- Use oil with a high smoke point, such as canola. Do not use olive oil.
- Animal fat gets hotter than vegetable oil. So, if you want to guarantee that your pudding will rise, add a little lard to the dish before you bake the sausages. This will make the sausages release a bit of their fat.
- To give your dish an extra depth of flavor, add some cooked onions to the sausage. This will give a stunning aroma and sweetness to your dish.
- Flavor your pudding with garlic powder, mustard powder, and Worcestershire for that extra oomph.
- Feel free to use your favorite sausages for this dish! Some great ones include Italian sausages, Jimmy Dean breakfast links, and Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausages. Mmm. Get in my belly.
- If you don’t have any sausages on hand, that’s okay too! You can use whatever meat you have. Perfect if you have leftovers from last night.
- Do not be tempted to open the oven while baking, especially during the first 20 minutes. Opening the door will cause the oven’s temperature to drop, which might cause your batter to not rise.
- You can freeze leftover toad in the hole for another day. Cut it up into individual serving sizes, wrap them in foil, and freeze. The dish will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
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