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


  • 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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12th Apr, 2015
Toad in the Hole never usually works out very well for me so I am really pleased to have found this recipe. The batter turned out really well, great recipe!
deejayellie's picture
26th Mar, 2015
Fab recipe - everyone loved it!
25th Mar, 2015
really impressed! best toad in the hole we have had for a while....... to start with we thought the batter would be heavy but don't let the consistency fool you as it is really light and fluffy!!! Will definitely be making this again
23rd Mar, 2015
I was really looking forward to this and halved the quantities as it was a Sunday treat for me and my partner, however despite sticking to the cooking times, I felt that although the top was lovely, the underneath of the sausages were still very pale and the batter didn't go as crispy so slightly disappointed but I will definitely use the bacon tip again!
Frantic Flapjack
10th Mar, 2015
This really was the ultimate. Better than any other toad in the hole recipes I have tried. It came out perfectly and the gravy was gorgeous. Highly recommended.
8th Mar, 2015
Very tasty. The Yorkshire pudding as such as is a little bland for someone used to more spicy food but the gravy made up for it. Served with a salad. Yum!
25th Feb, 2015
This was lovely and family wolfed it. Lot of gravy so froze leftovers. By 25 minutes it was quite dark so if make again I may turn oven down towards the end. My dish was smaller than recommended.


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