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The Hirshon British Toad in the Hole

The Hirshon British Toad in the Hole

  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • 115g/4oz. regular flour
  • large pinch of kosher salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 300ml/1/2 pint whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp./30g fresh thyme leaves
  • 8 best-quality pork or beef sausages
  • 2 Tbsp./30g Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp./30g beef dripping (melted beef fat) – do NOT substitute this crucial ingredient!
  • Chopped mixed fresh herbs to sprinkle on batter during baking
  • knob of butter, to serve
  • ***
  • Onion Gravy:
  • 2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter – TFD prefers Kerry Irish butter in this recipe
  • 2 medium onions (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 4 tsp. roasted onion and garlic jam
  • 1 1/4 pints rich homemade beef stock
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. cold Guinness-style beer (cold)
  • Maldon Sea Salt (to taste) or Kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Demiglace to taste


  1. First, start by making the gravy. Melt the oil and butter in a large saucepan over a gentle heat. Add the onion and cover with a lid. Cook slowly for approximately 10 minutes or until the onions are soft.
  2. Add the onion jam to the onions and stir well. Cover with the lid and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Add the thyme, stock and beer and boil gently uncovered for 5 minutes.
  4. In a heatproof jug or bowl mix the cornstarch with the cold water to a thin paste.
  5. Pour a little of the hot gravy into the starch mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour the starch mixture back into the gravy, raise the heat to high and boil for 10 minutes or until the gravy is slightly thickened. Add demiglace to taste and stir well.
  6. If you’d like, you can make a smooth gravy by using an immersion blender or keep it chunky, traditional-style. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  7. For the toad in the hole:
  8. To make the batter, sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the salt and pepper.
  9. Make a well in the center of the flour and crack in the eggs. Using a wooden spoon, gradually beat the eggs into the flour then slowly beat in the milk until the batter is the consistency of heavy cream.
  10. Strain and push any remaining lumps through a sieve. Stir in the thyme. Cover and leave to stand for 30 minutes, or ideally 3-4 hours.
  11. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  12. Heat a large non-stick pan and cook the sausages over a medium heat until golden-brown all over. (If you do not have a non-stick pan add a little oil.) Turn off the heat and brush the sausages with the mustard. Set aside.
  13. Place the beef dripping into an ovenproof dish and heat in the oven for five minutes or until the dripping is hot and hazy.
  14. Add the sausages to the hot dish and pour in the batter. Immediately return the dish to the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes until well-risen and golden-brown. At the ¾ way point of cooking, sprinkle chopped fresh herbs onto batter.
  15. Serve seasoned with black pepper and a large knob of butter.
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