“We could have some beer, if you like,” he said, “though you look much too elegant for anything so low..”
“I’ll have just what you have,” I said happily.
“How sweet you are! Would you even have sausage toad if I ordered it?”
“I daresay,” I said doubtfully. “I know what it is.”
“She knows what it is!” he laughed. “But the roast veal will probably be better.”
- A Glass of Blessings, Barbara Pym
Sausage Toad, Toad-in-a-Hole, Toad-in-the-Hole, whatever you like to call it; is there anything more British? A quintessential feel-good food that permeates the house with the luscious smells of sausage and pudding batter. Toad-in-a-hole was known in London circles as early as the 1760’s, but the dish didn’t refer solely to sausage; virtually any left-over bit of cut could do.
In 1861, Mrs. Beeton in her famous book on household management described it as “a homely but savoury dish” noting that it could cheaply serve 4-5 people. Although disdained by some as the dish of the lower class, toad stuck and become part of the British gastronomical lexicon. Various suggestions have been made as to how the dish got its name, although none have emerged victorious. My theory is that in 1733, two men claimed to have found a living frog entombed in rock. Thus, toad in the hole- sausages, “toads” entombed inside Yorkshire pudding batter.
The story caught the public imagination, and tales abounded of amphibians who could survive inside rocks for many years (it was rumored there was a stone that could actually “croak” due to the frog stuck within). Thus, toad in the hole- sausages, “toads” entombed inside Yorkshire pudding batter.
2/3 cup flour
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ pounds sausages
Mix together the flour, eggs, milk, and salt. Set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt bacon fat in bottom of 8×8 pan. Add the sausages to the pan and allow them to brown lightly in the oven. Pour batter over sausages, return pan to oven, and cook for about 20-30 minutes, or until the batter has risen and set and the sausages are well-brown.
(Online Resources: BONDESON, J. (06.2007): Toad in the Hole. (Accessed 01.25.2013)