Nothing brings people together quite like food. There are recipes we take through life that bring us comfort, ignite memories or remind us of home. For many of us who have moved from another country, introducing new friends to old recipes is a way of bringing the past to life. Offering a snapshot into the life you used to live.
Our market manager Curly is English, this recipe is a classic English dish that is a staple on cold, winter, evenings.
This recipe first appeared on BBCGood Food.com
- 140g plain flour (The Grain Family, wholegrain spelt or rye flour)
- 4 large eggs (Mt Roland Free Range Eggs, Mooreville Gardens, Tasmanian Natural Garlic & Tomatoes)
- 300ml semi-skimmed milk (Elgaar Farm)
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- handful of woody herbs, leaves picked and chopped, plus a handful, fried until crispy, to serve (optional) (Plants Direct Tasmania)
- 8 fat sausages (we used Cumberland but use your favourite variety) (Mt Gnomon Farm, Langdale Farm, Real Beef, Braefield Prime Lamb)
- 2 red onions, cut into wedges (Laos Fresh Farm, Steve’s Vegies, Old School Farm, Seven Springs Organic Farm, Mooreville Gardens)
- cooked green vegetables (optional), to serve (Laos Fresh Farm, Steve’s Vegies, Old School Farm, Seven Springs Organic Farm, Mooreville Gardens)
- mash (optional), to serve (Seven Springs Organic Farm, Old School Farm, Mooreville Gardens)
For the gravy
- drizzle of olive or hazelnut oil (Coronea Grove, Mt Direction Olives, Village Olive Grove, Lentara Olive Grove, Hazelbrae Hazelnuts)
- 2 red onions, halved and thinly sliced (Laos Fresh Farm, Steve’s Vegies, Old School Farm, Seven Springs Organic Farm, Mooreville Gardens)
- 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (Lost Pippin)
- 2 tbsp plain flour (The Grain Family, wholegrain spelt or rye flour)
- 250ml red wine (If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t use it in your gravy!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.