Toad out of the hole

Mark Sargeant deconstructs a British classic to create a warming winter supper
By Mark Sargeant
Toad out of the hole
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 15 minutes resting
  • Effort: easy


  • 70 g plain flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 115 ml milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • a little beef dripping, goose fat or sunflower oil
  • 8 pork sausages
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • splash sherry vinegar, or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 glass red wine, about 75 ml
  • thin beef gravy, or reduced beef stock (you can use Bisto for this)
  • sprig thyme
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

Tips and Suggestions

Use the best sausages you can, ideally with a minimum 80% pork content.


1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack in the eggs then gradually beat them into the flour until well mixed. Gradually whisk in the milk to give a smooth batter then stir in the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.

2. While the batter is resting, put about 1 tablespoon of beef dripping, goose fat or oil in each tin of one or two Yorkshire pudding trays. You should make about 6-8 Yorkshire puddings. Heat in the oven for a few minutes until really hot, then take the tray out.

3. Carefully pour a little batter into each tin until they are three-quarters full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and well risen.

4. Meanwhile, cook the sausages. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan. Lay the sausages in the pan and fry over a medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes or until done, turning often until well browned all over and cooked through. Remove and keep warm.

5. Tip the onion slices and the bay leaf into the pan you used to cook the sausages in, adding a little extra oil if needed. Fry slowly for 10-15 minutes until the onions are a dark golden colour and have caramelised. Pour in a splash of sherry or red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to gather up any sticky bits, then stir in the red wine.

6. Bring to the boil and heat until the wine is reduced by half. Stir in the beef gravy or reduced stock and the thyme sprig. Simmer for 5 minutes over a medium-low heat, then return the sausages to the pan, cooking for a couple of minutes to warm through. Stir in the parsley and serve the sausages and gravy with the Yorkshire puddings.

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