Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Toad In The Hole

Oh the curious Toad-In-The-Hole British recipe.  Yes, that is right, "Toad in the Hole."    It is very peculiar to me, why this tasty dish would be named toad in the hole, but, leave it to the British to come up with the most humorous names for dishes.  I found several interesting notes on the Internet on this dish and some that I will not write as it is not very appetizing.  It is an 18th century recipe that apparently has a lot of arguable points on the naming and the origin of this dish.  I reckon that this recipe in the 18th century, was a way to stretch a meal by adding batter to the meat, just as Italians in southern Italy would stretch their meals by adding more sauce to the meat and pasta dishes.    It is a very popular and a well known dish amongst the British; it is such a great "Pub" food item along with Bangers and Mash.  In our home, my family truly enjoys toad in the hole as dinner, lunch or even as a breakfast meal and we often have "Bangers and Mash with Heinz Beans" - yes, this is the only can of beans that I will open in my house as it is a MUST according to my husband (no argument there). 

When I prepare Toad-In-The-Hole for my family, I sometimes make them individually in a muffin pan,  so that we can enjoy them for breakfast and lunch.  It's a great idea to have in the refrigerator for an after school treat as well. 

When Jamie's recipe calls for "Quality Sausage", truly, we all mean "Quality Sausage"! and that would be a British version of sausage also knows as "Bangers" which is most delicious. Bangers are white in appearance, and are composed primarily of pork butt, a small amount of breadcrumbs, and water. They are normally pleasantly spiced with both sweet and savory spices. The average banger will have both salt and pepper, as well as sage, ginger and mace or allspice. Spices differ depending upon the brand.

Now, we call the English sausage at home as a "British" banger sausage, but the Irish will probably argue that they are the ones that introduced this version of sausage to the British.  No arguments from me, I'm just glad they exist!
You may be able to find the English sausages (bangers) in your local grocery stores or at a specialty store that sells British groceries.  If you cannot find these sausages, I am sure that whatever your choice of sausage, it will be just fine for this recipe.

I used Jamie Oliver's recipe for Toad-In-The-Hole with this very tasty "Onion Gravy" recipe that accompanies the toad in the hole quite deliciously.  I will direct you to Jamie's web site for the recipe

Whatever the history or the origin of this recipe, I will assure you, that you will really enjoy it.  Hey, here in America, I make these for Superbowl!!  Enjoy Mate!

Toad-In-The-Hole and Onion Gravy

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