Ultimate toad-in-the-hole with caramelised onion gravy

Ultimate toad-in-the-hole with caramelised onion gravy

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(35 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 40 mins plus 2 hrs resting


Serves 4 - 6

Wrap fat sausages in streaky bacon for a posh version of a British classic - perfect comfort food for the whole family

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving (6)

  • kcal612
  • fat34g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs42g
  • sugars13g
  • fibre3g
  • protein26g
  • salt3g
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  • 140g plain flour
  • 4 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 300ml semi-skimmed milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • handful of woody herbs, leaves picked and chopped (we used 6 sage leaves, 4 rosemary sprigs and 4 thyme sprigs), plus a handful, fried until crispy, to serve (optional)
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 8 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • 8 fat sausages (we used Cumberland but use your favourite variety)
  • 2 red onions, cut into wedges
  • cooked green vegetables (optional), to serve
  • mash (optional), to serve

For the gravy

  • drizzle of sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 2 red onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    Balsamic vinegar

    Balsamic vinegar

    bal-sam-ick vin-ee-gah

    True Balsamic vinegar is an artisan product from Modena, in Emilia Romagna, Italy, and is made…

  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 250ml red wine
  • 500ml chicken or beef stock


  1. Tip the flour into a large jug or bowl. Crack in the eggs, one at a time, whisking as you do. Pour in the milk and continue whisking until you have a smooth, lump-free batter. Add the mustard, herbs and some seasoning, then cover and set aside for 2 hrs, or chill overnight.

  2. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Heat the oil in a large metal roasting tin or enamel baking dish, roughly 30 x 22cm, with high-ish sides. Wrap a rasher of bacon around each sausage and pop them in the dish with the onion wedges. Place on the middle shelf of the oven (make sure the top shelf is removed to allow space for the batter to rise later). Cook for 15-20 mins until the sausages and bacon are browning and sizzling.

  3. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Drizzle a little oil into a saucepan. Add the sliced onions and cook slowly for 15 mins. Stir every now and then until they are soft and caramelised. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar, and cook for 5 mins more until sticky.

  4. The batter should be the consistency of double cream - if it has become a little thick, add a splash of cold water. Take the batter to the oven, open the door, carefully pull out the shelf and quickly pour the batter around the sausages. Close the oven and do not open it again for at least 25 mins.

  5. To finish the gravy, stir the flour into the onions to make a paste, cooking for 1-2 mins. Continue stirring while you splash in the wine, a little at a time, until you have a smooth, thick sauce. Increase the heat and bubble for a few mins until reduced by about half. Add the stock and some seasoning, and continue bubbling for 10 mins while the toad cooks.

  6. By now the toad should be puffed up and deep golden brown. If not, continue cooking - but don't open the oven as it will sink. Serve scattered with the crisp herbs (if using), with the gravy, green veg, and mash, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Neil Dent's picture
Neil Dent
17th Nov, 2019
Awful. I thought I'd trust the recipe for the toad rather than use my own tried and tested one (I pride myself on great, huge Yorkies). It barely rose and turned out like a a sausage and onion omelette, with a brown but barely crispy top. We ended up picking out the sausages and basically had posh bangers & mash with onion gravy. Back to our own good old toad recipe next time!
Neville Chapman's picture
Neville Chapman
15th Oct, 2019
Nailed on 5 star. Family marks new dinners out of ten. Rarely do I get past 7, This got a nine. Delicious, although I would read the other reviews as the tips worked for me. Left out the bacon.
Minion Milly
25th Nov, 2017
I found this batter to be overpoweringly eggy - the dish tasted like sausages and bacon cooked in scrambled egg! It was also undercooked in the middle as others said. I won't be using this recipe again and returning to my trusty toad recipe instead, although I will borrow the idea of wrapping sausages in bacon.
14th Apr, 2017
Great taste and looks wonderful. It was nicely colored and crispy around edges but still wet in the center when it came out the (fan) oven. Next time I will lower the temperature.
jemi johuni
10th Nov, 2016
Alexandra Caddick
2nd Nov, 2016
Halved the quantities of this to make for 2. Cooked to the letter, however although it looked beautiful coming out of the oven after the suggested times, quickly found that the batter was still pretty raw in the middle. Will definitely be trying again one day as it looked nice apart from that, but quite disappointed that it didn't cook through. Maybe consider revising cooking times/temperature in future.
Neville Chapman's picture
Neville Chapman
15th Oct, 2019
It sounds like the dil in the pan wasn't hot enough.
17th Sep, 2016
Fantastic recipe! The bacon is such a good idea. I found that mine took about 35 minutes to cook, and it was lovely and crispy and golden brown on the top. I pretty much ignored it for the first 25 minutes, and then watched the oven door until it cooked to my liking, so I'd recommend doing the same. The gravy is excellent and very easy to prepare so much so that I think my tin of gravy granules has been made redundant.
30th May, 2015
Cooks perfectly and is packed full of flavour, the gravy is delicious too! Will definitely be making this again.
16th Apr, 2015
Toad in the hole never usually works out very well for me, but this was brilliant! The batter turned out really well, great recipe! I've made it with and without bacon around the sausages, both are nice. The onion gravy was also nice, very sweet though.


18th Feb, 2016
Is this really supposed to have 4 eggs? It was more like a savoury egg custard with a crispy edge… smelt and tasted lovely though!
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Apr, 2016
Thanks for getting in touch. We checked back to the February 2015 issue of the magazine and 4 eggs are correct.
25th Oct, 2015
Could you use dried herbs instead of fresh ? Just wondering if it would impact the flavour. Cheers.
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