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Toad in the HoleApril 23rd marks St George's day in the UK, St George being the patron saint of England. Not marked or celebrated as much as the Irish St Patrick's or the Welsh's St David's day but a national day all the same.

Fear not this dish does not contain any toads! Or holes for that matter . . . so where or how the dish got its name I do not know and have never been able to find out. So if anyone out there does know I would love to hear from you?

I agonised over what recipe to include this week for this occasion and I could have gone for something fancy but finally decided on this very traditional dish. Served traditionally and plainly with no fancy professional chef tricks. Why? Well those of you outside of the UK will have no doubt never heard of it and the name would be quite a novelty. While the English and ex-pats out there will hopefully appreciate a recipe for a nice Yorkshire pudding mix and maybe a trip down memory lane?

Whilst Toad in the Hole is a British dish the origins of the name Toad in the Hole are lost in the mists of time. The dish Toad in the Hole was first recorded in print in 1787. Nowadays the 'toad' is invariably sausages although you can find it made with lamb chops. The filling was not always made with sausages or lamb chops. Leftover meat, including chopped beef, lamb and kidneys, would often be used as an alternative.

The batter used to make Toad in the Hole is the same as a Yorkshire Pudding batter. Serving batter with food in this manner was intended to make the available meat go further. When times were much harder and meat was a rarity, Yorkshire Puddings were served before the actual roast with rich gravy. The texture was intended to duplicate the meat and the gravy to give the flavour of beef. This would reduce the appetite of the person so that less would be required when the roast meal would be served after the Yorkshire Pudding . . . with no need for large portions of expensive meat. In the same way Toad in the Hole is intended as a way of making a meat dish go further.

It would very much have been a dish of working families during the Industrial Revolution and during times of hardship when meat was scarce or expensive.

This dish is similar, in that sausages are used as a cheap meat alternative, bulked by the Yorkshire pudding and enhanced by a rich meat gravy. I have used the exquisite English Cumberland sausages but any sausage that is your favourite can be used, obviously the better quality sausage the better the dish.

I am more than happy to share with you my personal favourites, but prefer to hear from readers as to what recipes you would like to see appear each week. So don't be shy . . . email me and let me know.

Ingredients for Toad in the Hole







Cumberland sausages


strong beef stock





How to make Toad in the Hole


  • Bring the stock to a boil and allow to simmer gently
  • Mix the cornflour with a little water and whisk a little at a time into the simmering stock, until required consistency is obtained
  • Set aside and keep hot until required

Yorkshire pudding mixture

  • Combine the eggs and milk thoroughly
  • Add three-quarters of the flour and mix to a smooth thin batter, add enough of the remaining flour to form a slightly thicker batter that should still be pourable
  • Set aside and allow to rest for at least an hour

Toad in the hole

  • Lightly brown sausages quickly in a pan (do not cook)
  • Place into an ovenproof dish with 2 cm of oil and place in the oven (200°C) for 10 minutes
  • Pour in the Yorkshire pudding batter and return to the hot oven
  • Bake until the sausages are cooked through and the Yorkshire pudding has risen sufficiently, turned a golden brown and are cooked, approximately 15 – 20 minutes
  • Cut into portions and serve with the rich beef gravy

Chef's Tip for Toad in the Hole

Other meats may also be cooked and served this way To this traditional dish may be added many other ingredients for interesting variations: chopped parsley or coriander to the batter, garlic to the gravy.

Chef's terminology:

litres   tsp = teaspoon
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Enjoy your Toad in the Hole and bon appetit . . . . .

Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand