Anyhoo... I've always loved Toad in the Hole, it amused me as a child with its endearing title, and it is probably one of the most satisfying meals to present to your hungry family, on a day which promising sun turned to wind and rain... those cold bitten cheeks in from the cutting outdoors turn cosy and red as they eat away...
I'm delighted to include this in my What they ate spot, and I am forsaking my own recipe for an 18th century one, taken from an 18th century cookbook called "The New Art of Cookery" by Richard Briggs 1792!
Make sure to always have plenty of mashed potatoes and hardy veg to go alongside!!
Toad in a Hole.
Mix a pound of flour with a pint and a half of milk and four eggs into a batter, put in a little salt, beaten ginger, and a little grated nutmeg, put it into a deep dish that you intend to send it to table in, take the veiney piece of beef, sprinkle it with salt, put it into the batter, bake it two hours, and send it up hot.
[The new art of cookery, Richard Briggs; 1792].
6 Sausages (or if you must a piece of veiney beef!!)
Knob of lard
750mls made up of approx half milk and half water
500 gms approx of plain flour
1/4 tsp salt and same of ginger and nutmeg
Whisk the milk, eggs, flour and spices together and leave to stand for at least an hour. Put a knob of lard in a roasting dish and put into a hot oven, 220c to heat.
In pan, melt another knob of the lard and fry the sausages for about ten minutes, until browned. Check that the lard in the roasting tray is ready by dropping a teaspoon of batter in, if it sizzles its ready. Add the sausages to the tray and pour over the batter. Replace straight back into the oven for about twenty minutes (not the two hours needed from a 1761 oven!) or until risen and golden.
Have everyone sitting around the table before removing from the oven, as it is at its most impressive while puffed up and steaming. It will collapse into itself soon after, and you can slice it up like a tart and serve alongside mashed potato and veg!