Toad In The Hole With Caramelised Onion Gravy

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A British classic, is a toad in the hole the ultimate comfort food? Served with a rich, caramelised onion gravy, this dish is perfect for when the weather turns cold.

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toad in the hole onion gravy

When it gets to the colder months, there’s not much better than a classic toad in the hole. I grew up eating this so I’ve been looking forward to sharing this recipe!

This is one of those dishes that seems hard to make but is actually pretty simple! In this recipe, I’ll be sharing some tips & tricks to making the best ever toad in the hole, plus there’s instructions for a quick & easy caramelised onion gravy.

What Is A Toad In The Hole?

Toad in the hole is a British classic! Here, pork sausages are cooked in Yorkshire pudding batter & served with a rich, onion gravy. Although you can make individual puddings, if you want to stick to tradition, you’ll need to cook it in a roasting tin.

Ingredients Used

Pork Sausages

To make this dish, you’ll want to use some high quality pork sausages. I like to use pork & apple but feel free to use your favourite type. A chipolata or Cumberland sausage is a classic choice!

Flour, Egg & Milk

The three ingredients we use to make Yorkshire pudding batter. Make sure to use plain flour, whole milk & fresh eggs.

Onions

I’ve gone for a white onion for our gravy but any type will work. If you’d prefer a slightly sweeter sauce, use red onion or shallot. Keep in mind that you’ll need to use a couple more.

Red Wine

The key to a great gravy is using a splash of red wine to deglaze the pan. Don’t worry about using something expensive though.

Beef Stock

For the richest gravy, we’re going to be using beef stock as apposed to chicken or pork. Homemade stock would work great but to keep things simple, I tend to use a stock pot dissolved in boiling water.

How To Make Toad In The Hole

Step 1 – Yorkshire Pudding Batter

For the best results, we need to make the Yorkshire pudding batter the night before cooking. This makes a lighter, more flavourful pudding.

To make the batter, simply whisk together plain flour, milk & eggs until smooth then pass through a sieve to remove any lumps. The batter then gets put in the fridge overnight.

Step 2 – Frying Sausages & Seasoning Batter

The key to cooking the best Yorkshire puddings is getting the tin & oil smoking hot. Make sure to heat them up for at least 20 minutes before adding in the batter & sausages.

Whilst the tin of oil is heating up, we need to do two things. The first is taking the batter out of the fridge, seasoning & thinning it down with water (if necessary). The second thing, is to fry the sausages in a pan, so that they are a light golden brown on all sides. We’re not cooking the sausages all the way through at this point. They just want a light fry.

Step 3 – Cooking

Now to assemble the toad in the hole. We need to work quickly here, to keep the tin & oil from losing heat.

To assemble, carefully take the hot roasting tin out of the oven then pour in all of the batter. Then, place the sausages on top of the batter & return the tin to the oven immediately. Make sure to spread the sausages out evenly so that each portion has the same amount.

The batter needs to cook for 30-35 minutes, or until well risen & a deep, golden brown. Yorkshire puddings will sink if the oven door is opened too early so make sure to leave the pudding undisturbed for at least 25 minutes.

When the batter is cooked, I like to double check that the sausages are cooked with a digital food probe. They should have an internal temperature of at least 75°c/167°f.

Step 4 – Serving

Once cooked, the toad in the hole should be served straight away. This recipe serves four people, so we simply need to cut it into quarters. Place each portion onto a plate & top with a generous amount of the caramelised onion gravy.

yorkshire pudding batter sausages

Caramelised Onion Gravy

This gravy is super easy to make & is packed full of flavour! To make, we cook sliced onion over a really gentle heat for around 15 minutes. This slow cooking process, turns them sticky & sweet.

To enhance the sweetness, a small amount of sugar & balsamic vinegar is added to the onions, followed by a generous amount of red wine. This is then reduced until sticky & hot beef stock is poured in. A small handful of fresh thyme is also added in with the wine, for extra flavour.

The final step is to reduce the gravy until thick then stir in butter, Worcestershire sauce & some salt & pepper.

This whole process takes less time than it takes for the toad in the hole to cook & produces a glossy, flavourful gravy!

Yorkshire Pudding Top Tips

  • Make the batter the night before & chill in the fridge overnight.
  • Heat the tin & oil until it’s smoking hot!
  • Let the batter warm at room temperature for at least 25 minutes before cooking.
  • Don’t open the oven door for at least 25 minutes.
  • Use fresh eggs, you’ll need 4-5, depending on weight.

Cooking In An Aga

With all of my recipes, I include cooking instructions for conventional ovens, fan ovens & also Agas.

To cook this recipe in an Aga, place the grid shelf onto the floor of the roasting oven & place the roasting tin on top. Cook as above.

Equipment Used

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Toad In The Hole With Caramelised Onion Gravy

A British classic, is toad in the hole the ultimate comfort food? Served with a rich, caramelised onion gravy, this dish is perfect for when the weather turns cold.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: English
Servings: 4 People

Equipment

  • Hand Mixer
  • 8" x 12" Roasting Tin
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Large Jug
  • Sieve
  • Large Frying Pan
  • Digital Food Probe

Ingredients

Toad In The Hole

  • 250 g Whole Eggs 4-5 Whole Eggs
  • 250 g Whole Milk
  • 200 g Plain Flour
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 6 Pork Sausages

Caramelised Onion Gravy

  • 1 Large White Onion Peeled & Thinly Sliced
  • 2 tsp Caster Sugar
  • 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 200 ml Red Wine
  • 10 Sprigs Thyme
  • 500 ml Beef Stock
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 30 g Butter

Instructions

Toad In The Hole

  • First, we need to make the Yorkshire pudding batter. To do this, place the eggs, milk & flour into a large mixing bowl then mix with a handheld electric mixer (or use a whisk) until combined & smooth.
  • Pass the batter through a sieve into a jug, cover with clingfilm & leave in the fridge overnight.
  • The next day, preheat an oven to 220°c/200°c fan (428°f/392°f).
    Pour 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil into an 8" x 12" roasting tin then place into the oven & leave to preheat for 25-30 minutes – the oil needs to be smoking hot.
  • Remove the batter from the fridge & season with a pinch of table salt & freshly cracked black pepper. If the batter is a bit thick, thin it out with a splash of water (the batter should have the consistency of double cream).
    Leave the batter at room temperature whilst the roasting tin is getting hot.
  • In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat.
  • Once hot, add in your sausages & cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. The sausages need to be lightly coloured on all sides.
    Remove the sausages from the pan & place onto a plate.
  • Carefully take the roasting tin out of the oven & working quickly, pour the batter in then place the sausages on top, spacing them out evenly.
    Return to the oven immediately & cook for 30-35 minutes. The Yorkshire pudding will be well risen & a deep golden brown. A digital food probe inserted into the sausages should read at least 75°c/167°f.
    If your oven door hasn't got a window, check the toad in the hole after 25 minutes, turning it around if necessary.

Caramelised Onion Gravy

  • The gravy is made whilst the toad in the hole is cooking.
    To do this, first place the pan that you used for the sausages over a low heat.
  • Add in the sliced onions, season with a generous pinch of sea salt then cook until soft & nicely caramelised, stirring regularly. This will take around 15 minutes.
    Pour in the balsamic vinegar & sprinkle over the sugar then cook for another 3-4 minutes. At this point the onions should be a deep golden brown.
  • Increase the heat to high, add in the red wine & thyme sprigs then reduce until sticky.
  • Add in the beef stock, bring to the boil & reduce until thick. This will take roughly 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in the Worcestershire sauce & butter then season with sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Keep the gravy warm whilst the toad in the hole finishes cooking.
  • To serve, cut the toad in the hole into four portions, place onto plates & pour over the gravy.

Notes

To cook in an Aga, place the grid shelf onto the floor of the roasting oven & place the roasting tin on top. Cook as above.
The toad in the hole should be served immediately after being cooked.
For best results use fresh eggs & rest the batter overnight in the fridge. If you’re short on time, an hour or two would work as well.

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