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Toad in the hole and an easy recipe for onion gravy!

Posted on January 14, 2013 by in Uncategorized

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Toad in the hole

Toad in the hole sounds to me like a chapter from a Beatrix Potter book and my imagination runs haywire of a frog breathing heavily from a lilly pad or even worse a frog jumping at me, eeeek! (ok, so I have a frog phobia!)  So you can imagine that although I have been wanting to make toad in the hole forever….I had issues, big issues!

In actual fact toad in the hole is none of the above and has nothing to do with frogs, it is merely a delicious one-pan meal which ticked all the right boxes for me.

easy – tick

affordable – tick

yummee – tick

toad in the hole

Toad in the hole ‘s origination is heavily disputed and although the English claims the fame, there are recordings of an Italian chef, Charles Elme Francatelli who, after a day in his restaurant, would gather all the leftover scraps of stewed meat and cook it in leftover Yorkshire pudding batter! I think Charles and I would have been best mates in the kitchen, because this sounds like something I would do!

Toad in the hole as we know it, is a dish made with sausages baked in Yorkshire Pudding batter and the name refers to the sausage resembling a toad sticking its head from the hole.

toad in the hole

I felt in such good company making this dish, after all the Prima Donna of cooking, Delia Smith has made it, Jamie Oliver has made it and even here on home ground, Sonia Cabano has a recipe for toad in the hole in her book Easy, simple and delicious!( Reviewed here by Fritz Brand)

It is pub-grub at its best, comfort food, a hug on a plate and served with other comforting dishes such as sweet peas and carrots…of course smothered in a thick onion gravy!

I made individual portions, but the dish can also be prepared in one big oven proof dish! I also added a beautiful red tomato to my toad in the hole, obviously because a roasted tomato can only make this dish even more appealing, but also because even a toad needs a beautiful hole!

Toad in the hole

Toad in the hole

makes 6 individual portions or 1 big oven dish full


12 good quality pork or beef sausages

a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary

6 medium tomatoes

125 g self raising flour

1 t baking powder

300 ml cold milk

3 eggs – I use Jumbo

½ t salt

1 T vinegar


Preheat oven to 180 C. Take a sprig of the herb that you are using and stick it in one end of the sausages. Place two sausages and 1 tomato in 6 individual ceramic or clay ramekins. Bake in the oven until the sausage starts to brown at top and are about 90% cooked. While the sausages and tomatoes are baking, make the batter, but add the vinegar at the last minute before your pour the batter onto the sausages. Once the sausages are almost cooked, remove the ramekins from the oven and divide the batter between the 6 ramekins. Bake until the batter is all puffed up and golden brown. Serve with sweet carrots and peas and loads of onion gravy.

Onion gravy


3 large onions – peeled and sliced

3 T olive oil

a sprig of thyme

salt and black pepper

1 liter good quality beef stock

100 ml red wine

2 T cornflour or Mazeina


Heat some oil in a oven-proof pan and saute the onions until it just starts to brown. Pop it in the same oven as the toad in the hole and while it is baking roast the onions for extra flavor. Once the onions are brown, bring the pan back up unto the stove and add the red wine. With a wooden spoon, scrape the caramelized buts off the bottom of the pan, it adds flavor. Add the stock and allow to simmer for at least 10 minutes.  At this stage you have to pour the mixture through a sieve into a jug, remove all the onions and thyme and pour back into your pan. Mix the cornflour with a little water and add to the gravy. Increase the heat and reduce the  gravy to the consistency you like.  Taste and season if needed. Serve in with your toad in the hole!

Ps. If you like the onion in your gravy, just skip that step in the recipe.

Try these delicious sausage recipes:

Pork sausages with Horseradish mash  and apple and onion gravy

Honey and Mustard Pork  sausages with roasted onion dip





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2 Responses to “Toad in the hole and an easy recipe for onion gravy!”

  1. tami 14 January 2013 at 8:19 am #

    This is lovely Nina. I love the food styling too. I’ve never tried this before but I definitely will very soon 🙂 xx

  2. Zirkie 18 January 2013 at 8:28 am #

    I love this! Especially the addition of the tomato to make the toad’s home beautiful! Baie mooi fotos, soos altyd! Ek gaan die resep beslis maak! Lekker naweek1

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