Toad in the Hole is a British classic, and the addition of caramelised onion and Harissa Ketchup gravy brings added flavour and texture to the whole dish.
150g Plain flour
Salt and pepper
150g Whole milk
150ml Cold water
4 Eggs, beaten
300 ml Early Harvest Olive Oil
2 Medium white onions, peeled and finely sliced
150ml Red wine
4 Heaped teaspoons gravy granules – can also use chicken stock, see note in recipe
500ml Boiling water
3tbsp Harissa Ketchup
8 Pork sausages
250g Frozen peas or steamed greens such as kale or cabbage
Sift the flour a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl mix the milk and cold water together, then add a little of this to the beaten eggs. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the egg mixture to the flour, whisking to combine until you have a thick paste. Then begin to add the milk until you have a loose, smooth batter, but do not over mix. Pour the batter into a jug and rest the batter in the fridge for thirty minutes.
Place a frying pan on a medium heat and add a little olive oil when hot, add the sausages and gently brown on all sides, around 8 minutes. Remove the sausages and set aside.
Add 125ml olive oil to the pan and when hot add the onions and season well with salt. Turn the heat up a little and cook until the onions have softened, stirring frequently. Once they have softened, turn the heat down a little and keep cooking until a light golden brown in colour and sweet to taste, around 30 minutes. Keep your eye on the colour and reduce heat if you see any blackening, as this will create bitterness.
Make up the gravy by mixing the granules and boiling water. Add the red wine to the onions and let reduce by half. Now add the gravy and Harissa Ketchup, bring up to a simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. If it looks a little thick, then add a splash of water. If you don’t want to use gravy granules, you can replace it with 750 ml quality chicken stock, which you would reduce by a third and thicken with a little plain flour.
When the gravy is nearly ready, set an oven to 200C fan / 220C non-fan. Place a sturdy baking dish (approximate size 21cm x 28 cm) in the oven and leave for at least 15 minutes to heat up, then remove and add the remaining olive oil. Return to the oven and leave to heat up for 5 minutes.
Take the dish from the oven and carefully pour in the batter. Arrange the sausages on top in pairs so that it’s easy to cut into 4 portions once cooked. Return to the oven and cook for around 30 minutes, or until the batter has risen and turned a deep golden-brown colour around the edges. Check to see if the batter in the middle is cooked and if not return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Whilst this is cooking, quickly blanch your green veg in boiling water, drain, then season with salt and pepper.
Whilst the toad in the hole is hot, cut into 4 and divide between plates. Add the veg then pour gravy all over.