What they ate!!

God only knows where it got its name, I've hunted around and found recipes for things "in a hole" dating back to the 1600s, pidgeon in a hole, game in a hole, all with the "hole" represented by batter of the yorkshire variety! So I deam that the 'toad' is anything but good meat, the bits and pieces you're left over with, the kind of things now stuffed into sausages.  An 1861 recipe calls for the cheapest meat you can find, the sausage of today!

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].

You'll need
6 Sausages (or if you must a piece of veiney beef!!)
Knob of lard
4 eggs
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!


Kim in the Kitchen said...

"Toad in the Hole" was my brother's favorite growing up, but it was something very different from what you've made. You cut a whole in the middle of a piece of buttered bread with a glass, put it in a frying pan and crack an egg in the hole. It's basically a kid friendly version of toast with a fried egg. Funny how different huh? I'm sure your recipe more authentic, for all I know my parents made up that name :)

Lisa Conmara said...

We call that Egg in a Basket!! Toad in the Hole is a traditional english thing, so I'd imagine somewhere along the way someone got confused and it just caught on! Its on wikipedia as being the way you describe in parts of America, isn't it funny!


Nicole said...

This looks sooo interesting and so different!!!! I am like Kim, I thought you were talking about the egg in the toast. Which people call by several different names. Including Egg in a Basket and God's Eye and my family just called it Special Egg.

Ciara said...

Ooh. It's ages since I made Toad in the Hole. Yum! In fact I don't know if I've made it for my kids, ever! I'll have to now.

(I make the battered English kind too).

Lisa Conmara said...

Its so funny how something as old school as Toad in the Hole can be an unusual dish to our neighbors over the pond! I love that!

Ciara, its delicious but even I, a cow nibbler, have to say that the lard (pure animal fat) was a bit toooooo much for me - it didn't even become soft when left out overnight - AAA! I had to be authentic though...

Michelle said...

That sounds like some definite comfort food. Sausage and fluffy batter stuff, with mashed potatoes on the side? Perfect for a cool autumn evening, which thankfully we have been having in abundance here lately. :-)

I still keep meaning to make that Irish menu you suggested for my tour, just for kicks. Do you have any sites you could suggest for recipes? Or just happen to have them floating around?