One of the benefits of returning to the UK is that I have been able to catch up on my UK Cookery programmes and get introduced to some new chefs. It’s amazing how quickly someone new can arrive on the scene. My new favorites are the “Fabulous Baker Brothers”- Henry and Tom Herbert. They have a show on Channel Four featuring recipes from the Hobbs House Butchery and Bakery, and a cookbook of the same name ‘The Fabulous Bakers Brothers’ which I now own.
Watching late one night I was inspired to attempt to make their Toad in the Hole recipe, quite a feat for someone who has failed to make Yorkshire Puddings for umpteen years. But there was just something so tantalisingly tasty about the recipe when they made it on television. I had some really great big fat herby sausages from Spring Lane Farm at Mapperley Top in Nottingham to use, and we had the rest of the herbs and onions from the back garden. I won’t reproduce the recipe here but you can find it at the following link.
First off we had some really nice fresh thyme and red onion from the garden, this was added to a hot tray on the stove top to gently brown the sausages. This took about 10 minutes, and while they were cooking we prepared the batter mixture for the ‘hole’part of the dish.
The batter is principally flour, fennel seeds, freshly chopped rosemary,and a dollop of dijon mustard. To this add a couple of good eggs and some milk.
After whisking up the mixture, it then gets added to the pan with the sausages and onions, then is swiftly thrown into the oven for 25-30 minutes. Now if I had any sense I would have adjusted the positions of the sausages so that they were equally distributed across the pan, but I didn’t and I don’t. It was enough to resist the temptation to open the oven for a peek, but resist I did, and the reward was a firmly cooked Toad in the Hole 30 minutes later.
Out of the pan and onto a plate with some mashed potatoes, peas and gravy was the perfect place for this dish to reside. Even better was its final resting place in my stomach.
This Toad and Hole was a really great variation of the dish, I was slightly dubious at the different herbs mixed in, but once cooked they gave it a great flavour, you did need really thick quality sausages, and most of all the ability not to peek.
I will be bringing this recipe out at some Chicago supper clubs once I return, just to prove that English food is not bland or boring.