Delia's Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy

I noticed this recipe for Toad in the Hole on Delia's website when looking up steamed pudding recipes - more about that another time!

I had already announced to the kids before school that it was going to sausages for tea, and we had agreed on gravy rather than tomato sauce, so Toad in the Hole didn't seem too far off what we'd agreed.

Sadly the kids didn't greet it as well as they could have done.  Sprout did eat all her two sausage helping, including the 'pastry', but pushed the onions aside.  Big Boy was completely taken aback  and declared without trying it that he didn't like it.  When I told him pasta had egg in he looked shocked and completely stopped eating in favour of asking how pasta was made.  And then lay on the table complaining of earache.  Princess struggled with the meltingly soft pastry.  I finished off 1 1/2 small helpings despite it being my fast day to warm and cheer me up.

Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy
I made a few tweaks to Delia's recipe, most notably not roasting the onions to save on washing up, adding a splash of wine to the gravy as I found the taste a bit thin, and I would add finely chopped onion next time to meet the kids approval.  I also added thyme to the batter

Serves 4-6

12 good quality sausages (I used free range pork, sage & onion)
1 tbsp sunflower oil

150g plain flour
2 large eggs
250ml semi skimmed milk
Salt & pepper
A few sprigs of thyme (optional)

Onion Gravy
1 large onion, peeled & sliced
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp sugar
1 dessertspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp English Mustard
1 organic beef stock cube
250ml cold water
250ml white or red wine
1 rounded dessertspoon plain flour
Pepper & Salt

Pre-heat the oven to 220C

Start by making the batter.  I make this in a food processor to give it a really good mix.  Mix all the batter ingredients, together with a good pinch of pepper and salt until you have a smooth batter.  Leave to one side until ready.

Next gently fry the sliced or finely chopped onions in the oil in a frying pan with the sugar.  Check from time to time that they are not burning and turn off the heat if they are.

Put 1 tbsp sunflower oil in a high sided roasting dish together with the sausages and pop in the oven for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes pour the batter carefully pour over the batter and put the sausages back in the oven for 30 minutes.

Turn the heat back on under the onions if you have turned it off and stir in the flour, Worcestershire Sauce, and mustard. Add the water, wine, and crumbled stock cube and bring to the boil, stirring regularly the ensure a lump free gravy.  Simmer for 5 minutes and check the seasoning.

The 'Toad' is done when it is lightly browned and the centre is not too soft.  Check with a knife if unsure that the batter is not runny!

Delia suggests serving it with mash, but I didn't think so much batter needed anymore carbohydrate!

I have subsequently attempted Jamie Oliver's Toad in the Hole with a little more success.

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