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I’ve been wondering how to explain the concept of this Cheesy Toad In The Hole to you.
It’s a tricky one, a dish that may well have you pulling faces and asking me if I’ve gone mad (I haven’t! Not this time!!!). When raving about this dish to a couple of friends they’ve been skeptical, but let me tell you now, buddies: it really is up to the hype.
This dish was born of a trip to Gillray’s, a lovely steakhouse on the Southbank where I recently enjoyed a lunchtime boozy meatfest with my friend Neva. The pre-starter was not bread or olives as you might expect but the most enormous cheese-filled Yorkshire pudding (see below) served with a horseradish cream. It was genius, most moreish and delicious, but all the more important it was incredible taste that was doable at home without the help of a gastronomy lab.
I was totally sold.
The next week I was at my first attempt of the cheesy toad in the hole, plopping my chunks of cheese into the Yorkshire pudding batter. It was good, but I knew there was more to this idea.
And so I got to thinking. We spend our Christmases chowing down on all sorts of cheese with caramelised onion chutney: why not plant the cheese in a Yorkshire pud, make a caramelised onion gravy and create a dish that surely would be total cheesy sausagey gravy happiness?
My friends, I was not wrong.
The cheese is popped on the Yorkshire approximately five minutes before it’s finished cooking, meaning it’s delightfully gooey without going brown or crunchy. The sausages (use fat sausages over chipolatas – these will just overcook) are juicy and flavour the batter ever so slightly. The gravy, odd though it seems, when accompanied by the caramelised onions is just amazing and compliments the tangy cheddar.
This cheesy toad in the hole is not a recipe for Weightwatchers, that’s for sure. I like to keep my waistline down and mum points up by counting the Yorkshire as the only carb in this meal and bulking the meal up with veg rather than add mashed potato for example (I forced my children to eat, I mean accompanied mine with kale and carrots this evening). I’m not a purist when it comes to the gravy, either. Good old Bisto will do for this – the caramelised onions provide the overriding taste anyway.
Apologies that this was not a particularly handsome plate of food to photograph – I really need to work on a) my photography skills and b) not photographing food in the difficult light of dusk. You’ll just have to take my word for the fact this meal will give you one almighty mouth party.
Cheesy Toad in the Hole with Caramelised Onion Gravy
- 6 Sausages
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 150 grams Plain flour
- 2 Eggs
- 150 ml Milk
- 110 ml Water
- 1 White onion, halved
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Brown sugar
- 250 ml Gravy, I use Bisto
- 50 grams Of your favourite cheese, I like mature cheddar
- Veg, to serve
Pre-heat your oven at 200 degrees C and pop your sausages in to brown. Cook off until golden, around 10 minutes.
While this is happening you can make your Yorkshire pud batter. Weigh the flour into a large bowl and season; make a well in the middle of the flour and crack your egg into it. Using either a hand-held electric whisk or a good old balloon whisk, whisk the egg and slowly start incorporating the flour. Measure out the milk and water (in the same jug is fine) and start adding to the egg/flour mix.
Take the sausages out of your dish and place on a plate. This is where it gets tricky for a couple of minutes and you have to mind the spitting oil so make sure there are no little people underfoot! Add your tbsp veg oil to your dish and pop back in the oven for five minutes to heat up.
Whip the oil out and, working quickly, pop the Yorkshire pud batter in the dish and place the sausages on top. Put the dish back in the oven as quickly as you can, and this will need to cook for around 25 minutes.
Start on your gravy; finely slice your onion and cook on a medium-low heat in1 tbsp of butter. Cook until soft and starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Add your sugar and cook for 5 minutes more Meanwhile make up your gravy and add to your caramelised onion mix. Leave on a low heat to keep warm.
Roughly chop your cheese.
When you're 20 minutes in to cooking your Yorkshire pud/sausage mix quickly take it out the oven, sprinkle your cheese on top and cook for 5 minutes more until golden brown and crispy.