Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Toad Of Toad Hall

Here's my entry for the Toad Of Toad Hall challenge. It's not my best ever result visually - for some reason the holes are not very deep - but the taste using locally produced #bedsfood sausages from K.C.Robbins and my tailor made onion gravy was FAB!

My secret to great Toad In The Hole is to poach the sausages SLOWLY.  I sometimes poach in Cider and then use this to make the gravy - this time as I was using Spanish Paprika sausages I made a simple stock base with Bay, Celery, Onion, Peppercorns etc...

You need to place all the stuff in a big pan of cold water. And bring VERY SLOWLY to just under a simmer until cooked - time depends on how big your bangers are but about an hour.  If you put them in a pan of boiling stock or heat it too fast the bangers will pop!  I leave the links connected to minimise any loss of the filling into the water.

While were sausages are simmering you can make the batter for the hole.  I usually use Jane Grigson's "Chinese Yorkshire Pudding" as told by Nigella in How To Eat I'm sure you have your own.  My normal twist is to usually add a dollop of English mustard or mustard powder.  With respect to the Spanish nature of these sausages I added two tablespoons of La Chinata Sweet smoked Pimenton and used smoked salt.  La Chinata is great stuff and I highly recommend you get it if you see it - There are Hot and Sweet varieties get two of each and you will never regret it!

For the onion gravy I sliced two large red onions (grown locally) and fried them slowly in Red Palm & Canola Oil - I love the colour this oil give you for tomato based dishes and adding a teaspoon of La Chinata's HOT smoked Pimenton gives it a real kick!  When the onions are soft and caramelised turn up the heat for a minute or so and slosh on a good glug of sweet dark sherry followed by shot of red wine vinegar to deglaze.

Add Passata a little stock and a whole star anise - simmer gently and reduce to increase the depth of flavour and the colour.

When the sausages are cooked hook them gently out of the pan and, if needed, cut the links.  The oven needs to be very hot - I use a fan oven for mine and whack the temp up to 250C, pre heating the roasting pan(s).

My other secret ingredient is the Garlic and Thyme infused goose fat I use to Confit my Christmas Turkey legs and thighs which I take off the crown before cooking for Christmas Day and we have the Turkey Confit for New Year's Eve.  I keep this fat in the fridge and use through the year for Yorkies, Holes and Roasties.

Back to the dish!  Take the hot pan out of the oven and place on a medium heat on the hob.  Throw in a knob of fat and when it has melted and starting to smoke pour in the batter mix followed by the sausages.  I usually use about a pint of batter and six sausages to a pan.

Pop it back in the hot oven for about 25 mins until, you hope, the batter is cooked and well risen.  Take the star anise out of the gravy and serve with your choice of vegetables - we like broad beans (well some of the kids don't but the HAVE to eat them or no pudding!).  Because they were poached rather than roasted or grilled the sausages remain really moist and meaty and the gravy rich and unqtious.

1 comment:

  1. Them's tasty eats right there. Those sausages look pretty spectacular in themselves - chorizo-like.

    I meant to mention in my own post, Heston poached his sausages for bangers and mash, and I really should have mentioned that when doing my own. Top stuff ABUK!