Toad-in-the-hole, onion & apple gravy

Serves 6

  • For the batter:

  • 3 large free-range eggs

  • 100 g plain flour

  • 250 ml semi-skimmed milk

  • sea salt

  • For the sausages and gravy:

  • 2 large onions, peeled

  • 3 eating apples

  • a large knob of butter

  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • sea salt

  • ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons runny honey

  • 12 big Cumberland sausages

  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour

  • 250 ml good cider

  • 250 ml organic beef stock

  • Worcestershire sauce

Rhys Pendergast made a really kind donation to Help a Capital Child this year, so I'm dedicating this dish to him, in celebration of his wedding to the lovely Katie. I'm told Rhys makes a mean toad-in-the-hole, and I hope they enjoy this version for years to come. In Yorkshire, I learned how real Yorkshire folk approach making a great Yorkie. They aren't into making their batter the night before, instead they focus on getting plenty of air into the batter and achieving a hot consistent temperature in the oven. I truly love this great classic and have only ever had one issue with it: quite often, you end up with half a sausage (the toad) poking out of the Yorkshire (the hole). The bit sticking out is crispy and golden – good times – but the other half of the sausage, inside the batter, is soft, anaemic and boiled – bad times. So in the spirit of family-style sharing and creating a dish that makes everyone go 'Oooh!' I'm separating out the elements so you end up with amazing crispy sausages, a tray of giant Yorkshire to tear up and a wonderful onion and apple gravy. Heaven.



Whisk the eggs, flour, milk and a pinch of salt in a bowl, then pour into a jug. Preheat the oven to full whack (about 240°C/475°F/gas 9). Cut your onions into 1cm thick slices, and do the same with the apples – removing the core. Put a large pan on a medium heat. Add the butter, a lug of olive oil, the onions and the apples. Pick in the leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden. Remove the sauce from the heat once soft, season, and add the honey and a splash of water, if needed. Put the sausages into a sturdy roasting tray (roughly 30 x 40cm), toss with a little olive oil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden.



Transfer the cooked sausages to a pretty ovenproof dish and toss with half the apple and onion sauce. Cover with tin foil. Remove any excess fat from the roasting tray, replace with a good lug of olive oil and place on a medium heat. Add the remaining rosemary leaves and after 30 seconds, pour in the batter, then put straight into the middle of the oven with the sausages on the shelf underneath. Cook for around 8 to 10 minutes, or until the pudding is fluffy, golden and puffing up at the sides. Whatever you do, do not open the oven door.



Put the pan of apples and onions back on a high heat and stir in the flour. Be brave; let it get really golden before adding the cider, stock and a couple of really good splashes of Worcestershire sauce. Let it boil and bubble away until thickened to your liking. Get your guests to the table, with their knives and forks in their hands. Put the bubbling gravy on a board in the middle of the table.



Remove and uncover your sizzling sausages, then slide your Yorkshire pudding on to a nice board. This lovely dish definitely needs balancing, so serve with something green and fresh, like runner beans, greens, salad or dressed chard.

Nutritional Information

Toad-in-the-hole, onion & apple gravy

Amazing crispy sausages and wonderful onion and apple gravy

I’ve separated out the elements of this classic so you end up with a family-style, tear and share dish that makes everyone go ‘Oooh!’
Serves 6
1h 10m
Super easy
Method

Rhys Pendergast made a really kind donation to Help a Capital Child this year, so I'm dedicating this dish to him, in celebration of his wedding to the lovely Katie. I'm told Rhys makes a mean toad-in-the-hole, and I hope they enjoy this version for years to come. In Yorkshire, I learned how real Yorkshire folk approach making a great Yorkie. They aren't into making their batter the night before, instead they focus on getting plenty of air into the batter and achieving a hot consistent temperature in the oven. I truly love this great classic and have only ever had one issue with it: quite often, you end up with half a sausage (the toad) poking out of the Yorkshire (the hole). The bit sticking out is crispy and golden – good times – but the other half of the sausage, inside the batter, is soft, anaemic and boiled – bad times. So in the spirit of family-style sharing and creating a dish that makes everyone go 'Oooh!' I'm separating out the elements so you end up with amazing crispy sausages, a tray of giant Yorkshire to tear up and a wonderful onion and apple gravy. Heaven.

Whisk the eggs, flour, milk and a pinch of salt in a bowl, then pour into a jug. Preheat the oven to full whack (about 240°C/475°F/gas 9). Cut your onions into 1cm thick slices, and do the same with the apples – removing the core. Put a large pan on a medium heat. Add the butter, a lug of olive oil, the onions and the apples. Pick in the leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden. Remove the sauce from the heat once soft, season, and add the honey and a splash of water, if needed. Put the sausages into a sturdy roasting tray (roughly 30 x 40cm), toss with a little olive oil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden.

Transfer the cooked sausages to a pretty ovenproof dish and toss with half the apple and onion sauce. Cover with tin foil. Remove any excess fat from the roasting tray, replace with a good lug of olive oil and place on a medium heat. Add the remaining rosemary leaves and after 30 seconds, pour in the batter, then put straight into the middle of the oven with the sausages on the shelf underneath. Cook for around 8 to 10 minutes, or until the pudding is fluffy, golden and puffing up at the sides. Whatever you do, do not open the oven door.

Put the pan of apples and onions back on a high heat and stir in the flour. Be brave; let it get really golden before adding the cider, stock and a couple of really good splashes of Worcestershire sauce. Let it boil and bubble away until thickened to your liking. Get your guests to the table, with their knives and forks in their hands. Put the bubbling gravy on a board in the middle of the table.

Remove and uncover your sizzling sausages, then slide your Yorkshire pudding on to a nice board. This lovely dish definitely needs balancing, so serve with something green and fresh, like runner beans, greens, salad or dressed chard.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:
  • Calories 744 37%
  • Carbs 47.4g 21%
  • Sugar 21.2g 24%
  • Fat 50.2g 72%
  • Saturates 19g 95%
  • Protein 21.3g 47%
Of an adult's reference intake

BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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