Saturday, February 03, 2007

Toad in the Hole

Sat 27 Jan 2007

Since the first sausage making effort, this date had been pencilled in for the second.

This time around, everything was so much easier. There was less hassle choosing and preparing the meat (although there was a slight panic when we realised the ribs were still in the pork belly, rather than it being boneless!), and we'd made the decision to use our own plain breadcrumbs, rather than the very salty rusk mix.

This time, we also chose to use the coarser grinding plate, just for the sake of it. Our spice mix consisted of toasted fennel and fenugreek seeds, with loads of pepper. For our approximately 1.5lb of pork belly (before trimming) we used 1/2 cup of plain breadcrumbs, 2 tsp of fennel seeds, 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds and loads (yes, that is a technical description!) of black pepper. We used one egg and a splash or two of plain water. We weren't sure we needed sherry flavour sausages quite so soon!!!

This time, we operated like a team and from go-to-woe the whole process of producing 12 fat sausages took us between an hour and an hour and a half! Yes - we forgot to look at the clock when we started!

One of the nicest things to do with a sausage is make toad in the hole. So we did this. This batter recipe is based loosely on that found on Delia Smith's site. It was approximately 100g plain flour, mixed with 1 egg and ... some milk. We started off with approximately 100mL of milk, and just added more until it was the 'right' consistency (quite runny, a little thicker than cream).

We put our sausages in a baking dish and roasted them. Partly because they were quite lean sausages and partly because you need plenty of hot fat in your pan, we added extra oil. And when the sausages were nicely browned and the oil was hot, we added the batter, shut the oven and held our breath!

The hole puffed up nicely - though it does have a tendency to collapse once it's out of the oven, so if you're serving it up to guests you need to move from oven to table swiftly.

We served the toad in the hole with gravy (of course!), mashed potato and roast onions and carrots. And a bottle of red.

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