Sausages with Yorkshire pudding (Purnell-style toad in the hole)

Preparation time
over 2 hours

Cooking time
10 to 30 mins

Serves 4

By Glynn Purnell


For the Yorkshire pudding batter

  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • 200ml/7fl free-range eggs (about 4 eggs)
  • 200ml/7fl oz milk
  • salt
  • 4 tsp sunflower oil

For the sausages

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 12 good quality thin pork sausages

For the onion gravy

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 large sprigs thyme
  • 200ml/7fl oz red wine
  • 400ml/14fl oz chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp yeast extract

To serve

  • mashed potato
  • 150g/5½oz Cheddar
  • handful watercress


  1. To make the toad in the hole, sift the flour into a large bowl with a large pinch of salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour and beat in the eggs with a whisk. Once fully incorporated, add the milk whilst whisking. The mixture should have the consistency of double cream. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, to cook the sausages, preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and brown the sausages on all sides, then place in the oven for 5 minutes, or until cooked through.

  4. Increase the oven temperature to 230C/210C Fan/Gas 8. Place a teaspoon of sunflower oil in each pudding hole in the tin. Place the tin on a flat tray and put in the hot oven for 2 minutes.

  5. Carefully remove the tray from the oven and half fill each hole with the Yorkshire pudding batter. Place back in the oven for 10–12 minutes. Reduce the heat to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 for a further 4–5 minutes, until the puddings have risen and are cooked through.

  6. Meanwhile, to make the onion gravy, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and add the onion. Cook for 10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden and caramelised. Add the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and thyme and cook for 5 minutes. Add the red wine, reduce until it has almost all gone, then stir in the chicken stock and reduce the liquid by a third. Stir in the yeast extract and keep warm until needed.

  7. To serve, place a spoonful of mash on each plate and spoon over onion gravy. Place a Yorkshire pudding on top of the mash and a teaspoon of mash in each Yorkshire pudding, then add a tablespoon of gravy to each pudding and place 3 sausages in each. Sprinkle with cheese and top with watercress.