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Sage and mustard toad in the hole with cider onion gravy


Ah, toad in the hole, such a British dish. I think we have an inbuilt need for food like this when the weather gets colder. We actually need gravy, it’s like medicine to us! My kids really like this type of nursery food; I may have mentioned before that toad in the hole is Arthur’s actual favourite dinner. They even both accepted the seeds in there, which were in fact wholegrain mustard seed. They don’t notice the herbs. So I do have other toadie recipes on here, like this herby toad in the hole one, and this mini toad in the hole one. But this one has cider onion gravy, and that alone is worth posting another toadie recipe for!

But first… So, let’s be honest, the only downside to making toadie is the fact that the pan (metal, always) is a pain to wash afterwards. Well, it wasn’t for me actually this time, as Marigold (love the name Marigold, if we ever get another dog we’ll call it that I think) sent me loads of really brilliant cleaning sponges and cloths. Adam actually commented on how much he liked the sponge – it was this one. Seriously!! This is our life now. Conversation about the efficacy of washing up sponges! I think he just noticed the difference in these and the normal standard ones we buy. We don’t have a dishwasher until we get our extension, so washing up is an activity I do about 10 times a day. I am a bit of a tight wad when it comes to spending on cleaning products but I am gradually learning that you do get what you pay for. And if a few extra pennies saves you elbow grease I am all for it. They last much longer too. Give ’em a try!

The onion gravy – I made it with cider, which really adds a nice apple-y flavour and goes so well with sage and pork. It’s very easy to do and makes this standard, go to family favourite that little bit different!

Serves: 4-6

Takes:about 50 minutes


6-8 sausages, snipped into bitesize pieces
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 heaped tablespoon fresh sage, leaves left whole
The batter: 
285ml whole milk
115g plain flour
3 eggs
Salt and pepper
Tablespoon of wholegrain mustard
Onion and cider gravy:
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
3 large or 5 small onions, peeled and sliced
1 can of cider
Gravy granules (about 1 tablespoon, to thicken and give a meaty flavour)
To serve:
Greens (we had Swiss chard)
  1. Add a little oil to a pan and add sliced onions and sugar too. Let them slowly caramelise for about 20 minutes or so. They need to be soft and golden too. Add the cider and turn up heat to reduce. Then after about 15 minutes or so add granules and let it thicken. Have this going on in the background whilst you do the rest…
  2. Get your mash on. Peel red skinned potatoes. Cut into equal size chunks. Pop in cold water, bring to boil and cook until soft, about 20 mins. Mash with butter and milk and seasoning. Have this going on whilst you mix the batter and have the onion gravy going on too… it’s sounds like a lot but it’s not.
  3. Preheat oven to 225C.
  4. Make batter: mix eggs with flour and add milk. Season and add mustard. Don’t worry about it being a little lumpy, that’s not a problem.
  5. Pour oil into the pan. Preheat for 10 minutes. Snip sausages up. Add those and sage to pan and back in for 5 minutes. By the way, my pan is a square one, about 23cm x 23cm.
  6. Remove hot pan carefully and add batter. Pop in ASAP! Cook for about 25 minutes, but keep an eye on it.
  7. Meanwhile mash your potatoes. Last minute, do your greens.

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