Search This Blog

Saturday 20 April 2013

Vegetarian Toad in the Hole

No, strangely, this is not a ready-made dish... though, given the ingredients, it might as well be. It has been previously noted that I'm a bit of a fan of Toad in the Hole, but the Iceland variety is not something I can serve up as a quick evening meal when there's a vegetarian in the house. Except, these days, there are vegetarian sausages, such as those that were used in S&M Rodeo #11, meaning that if I get a hankering for Toad in the Hole, but need to make a dinner suitable for a non-carnivore, this is still a quick and satisfying option. Additionally, being a home-made dish, it can be made large enough for two and leave at least one portion for an even quicker snack lunch the following day.

  • 1 six-pack of Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausages
  • 1/2 sachet of Aunt Bessie's Homebake Yorkshire Pudding Mix
  • Cooking Oil
Preparation Time: approximately 30-35 minutes

Tools Required:
  • Small Mixing Bowl
  • A Stirring Implement, such as a Whisk or Fork
  • Large Baking Dish
The Process:
I'll start this off by mentioning the big mistake I made in preparing this first attempt at a proper, full-size home-made Toad in the Hole: The vegetarian sausages are in the freezer section of the supermarket, are stored in the freezer at home... and I put them into the batter pretty much straight from the freezer, as if I was grilling them normally. For future reference, it's probably best if you let them thaw in advance.

So, to begin, lightly oil the interior of your baking dish - just pour a little in, then spread it around using kitchen roll - then place it into the oven.

Preheat the oven and baking dish to 200C (220C if not fan-assisted), then empty half the sachet of Yorkshire Pudding mix into a small mixing bowl, and add about 125ml (something in the region of a quarter of a pint, half the amount used for a full sachet), stirring thoroughly. Once the oven and dish are up to temperature, take the dish out and pour in the batter. The base will begin to cook instantly - this is a good thing, as it means your toads will have a solid base to their hole. Or something.

Line up the sausages at regular-ish intervals within the dish, then just dump the dish back into the oven for about 25-30 minutes, checking regularly to avoid accidentally burning it. The batter will rise around the sausages and will be golden brown when ready, but it won't take long after that for it to start to burn.

The Results:
The reason I warn against using sausages fresh from the freezer cabinet is that, being rather cold, they interfere with the proper rising of the batter around them. From the photos below, it is possible to discern that the batter rose very well around the edges, but spectacularly failed between the sausages.

That said, it all ended up tasting pretty good, and I do have a thing for not-fully-cooked batter, so I had no complaints. The sausages are fairly well seasoned as standard, and taste excellent in this. For serving, this was cut into three - meaning two good-sized sausages each for my girlfriend and I, and one portion left over - but it could be equally well quartered if the accompaniment is substantial enough.

Served with a bit of veg, this made a pretty decent, quick evening meal and, considering it takes about the same time to prepare as the frozen, ready-made kind I often pick up from Iceland, I'm half tempted to make this my default method of making Toad in the Hole in future.

And, if I'm cooking for myself, I could even use meat-based sausages.

In the righthand picture, note the way the batter has risen and turned golden brown around the edges, but stayed quite anaemic - and really not cooked very well - in between the sausages.


  1. Regarding using frozen sausages. I always fry the sausages first for a few minutes. This gives them a bit better colour, and gets round the problems of slowing down the batter cooking around them as they are already frying hot. It reduces the oven time by about 5 minutes, but dirties a frying pan.

    1. Thanks for the pointer! Weirdly, while I'm aware that sausages can be fried (I've eaten in enough greasy spoon cafes!), I've never tried it myself. That said, considering the mess I've made of my frying pans doing bacon, it's probably just as well. Good suggestion, nonetheless, and certainly worth a go if simply thawing the sausages isn't enough.