Here in the United States, "toad in the hole" is a cute way of cooking an egg, by cutting a hole in a piece of bread and frying an egg in the center. But the original toad in the hole from England is a much older dish, and one much more filling. It dates from the 1700s, and it was originally a way to stretch a family's food supplies, by taking the cheapest cuts of meat available and baking it in a pudding, namely Yorkshire pudding. On the Cast Iron Cooking group on Facebook, Yorkshire pudding is better known as Dutch Baby, and we see people making these for breakfast almost every day. But Yorkshire pudding is meant to be served with the drippings from the cooked meat, and over time, it came to be what they serve in England today, usually sausages baked in a pudding batter. Most importantly, it's delicious and filling, especially when served with a traditional onion gravy. If you've never had toad in the hole, I hope this inspires you to give it a try, especially when you see how easy it is to make.
Pans needed: 1 10-inch cast iron skillet for making the sausage and Yorkshire pudding. Medium sized bowl for mixing the pudding batter. A second pan for making onion gravy. And your oven!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (or 200 degrees Celsius). Place one cast iron skillet on the stovetop burner and heat it at medium for about five to ten minutes. As the pan is heating. chop one onion: you can dice the onion or cut it into larger pieces if you want. Set the onion aside for making the gravy.
In a medium sized bowl, crack three eggs and whisk them briskly. Add a dash of water (maybe a tablespoon) and mix it in to loosen the eggs. Whisk some more. Mix in 3/4 cup of flour and stir it together. This will become a very thick batter. Add about a third to half of the milk, and stir it around to thin out the batter. When it's well mixed, add the rest of the milk and stir it some more, until the batter can be poured.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil or lard to the hot cast iron pan, and stir it around until the oil is hot. Add sausages to the pan and brown them on all sized. You don't have to thoroughly cook the sausages here, because they're going to be baked in the oven. Browning the surface of the sausages gives them a good crust and adds flavor!
Whisk the egg batter some more, and pour it into the pan around the sausages. Take the entire pan and place it in the oven. Place the second cast iron skillet on the stovetop and heat this one at medium.or medium-low The pan in the oven will bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes.
After getting the second pan good and hot – but not hot enough to instantly burn the onions! – add one to two tablespoons of butter or oil to the pan, and melt the butter. Add the chopped onions to the pan, and stir fry them for 10 to 20 minutes until the onions are brown, soft and caramelized. Add 1/4 cup butter to the pan, and stir it all around to melt the butter. Add 1/4 cup flour and stir fry everything for another minute or so. This will make a thick roux. Begin adding beef broth to the pan, a little at a time. Use a whisk to vigorously stir the roux as it thins out. Keep adding broth, a little at a time, until the gravy is at the consistency you want.
Serve your toad in the hole as soon as it comes out of the oven, topped with onion gravy.