Over 2 hours
30 mins to 1 hr
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James Martin’s family recipe for a traditional toad in the hole uses beef dripping and lets the batter stand for a few hours before cooking.
By James Martin
James Martin recipes from James Martin: Home Comforts
- 225g/8oz plain flour
- 8 free-range eggs
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 570ml/1 pint milk
- pinch salt
- 75g/2¾oz beef dripping (or lard)
- 6 good-quality sausages
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 1-2 tbsp yeast extract
- 75ml/2½fl oz red wine
- 1 tbsp gravy granules
- 200ml/7fl oz beef stock
- buttered peas, to serve
- knob of butter
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the plain flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Whisk in the eggs and mustard and continue to whisk until just smooth, then gradually add the milk and salt and whisk to a smooth batter.
- Place in the fridge for at least four hours, but preferably overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
- Place three-quarters of the beef dripping into a roasting tin and heat in the oven.
- Heat a frying pan until hot, then add the remaining dripping. When it’s melted, add the sausages and fry on each side until browned.
- Remove the batter from the fridge and whisk once more to combine.
- Place the sausages in the roasting tin and pour over the batter.
- Place in the oven for 30 minutes, then briefly open the oven door to allow the steam to escape and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Make the gravy using the same pan that the sausages were cooked in.
- Place the pan on a high heat, then add the onion and fry for 10 minutes, or until just softened and browned.
- Add the yeast extract and cook for a minute, then add the red wine and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.
- Whisk the gravy granules with a little water until smooth, then add 250ml/9fl oz water and whisk once more. Add to the pan and cook for a few minutes then add the beef stock and simmer for five minutes. Add a knob of butter and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Remove the toad in the hole from the oven and set aside for a few minutes.
- Serve a large spoonful of the toad with a ladleful of gravy and some buttered peas.