Saturday, November 12, 2016

Maple Sausage Toad In A Hole with Onion Gravy and Mint Peas








     Toad In A Hole!
     Toad In A Hole is basically a sausage stuffed Yorkshire Pudding.  After baking, the sausage looks like a toad poking its head out of a hole in the ground, hence the name of this entrée.  
     Uncased sausage is used to make Toad In A Hole.  After baking, the sausage patty should look like it is peeking out of a Yorkshire Pudding.  Many Toad In A Hole recipes use cased sausage links to make Toad In A Hole.  A sausage link does not resemble a toad!     
     Traditional Yorkshire Pudding is a simple egg batter that is poured into a hot pan that is placed under a roast to catch the drippings.  The hot grease dripping from the roast literally fries the batter at first.  After the oven temperature recovers, the Yorkshire Pudding puffs up and more than doubles in size.  As the roast cooks, the drippings and jus flavors the Yorkshire Pudding.  This kind of Yorkshire Pudding is usually large and it is cut into portions when served.
     English pubs and restaurants usually make individual size Yorkshire Pudding.  Oil or lard is placed in the the cups of a large muffin pan.  The muffin pan is heated till the oil becomes very hot, then the Yorkshire Pudding batter is poured in each muffin cup.  The individual size Yorkshire Puddings are baked till they soufflé and brown.  The finished Yorkshire Puddings looks like cups.  When served with roasted beef, the individual size Yorkshire Pudding is placed in hot beef jus and soaked till it is saturated with the beef jus flavor.
     There are two ways that individual Toad In A Hole can be made.  A raw oval shape sausage patty can be placed in the Yorkshire Pudding while the batter is still wet.  The result is a classic Toad In A Hole that is saturated with grease, which is not very healthy.  The second method involves cooking the sausage patty first, before placing it in the pudding.  The result is a healthier Toad In A Hole that is not greasy.  
     Maple Sausage is a traditional American breakfast sausage.  Maple Sausage can be featured in lunch or dinner entrées.  The maple flavor of the sausage tastes nice in Toad In A Hole.  
     Toad In A Hole is usually accompanied by gravy or beef jus.  Onion Gravy is a nice choice, because is compliments the Maple Sausage flavor.  Peas are one of the most popular vegetables in England.  Mint and peas is a nice light refreshing vegetable to serve with Toad In A Hole. 

     Onion Gravy:
     This recipe yields about 2 cups.  (2 generous portions) 
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/2 cup of small chopped onion.
     Sauté till the onions turn clear in color.
     Set the onions aside.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add an equal amount of flour, while constantly stirring.  (The roux should be shiny, not caky.)
     Constantly stir the roux till it becomes a brown color.
     Step 3:  Add 2 3/4 cups of beef stock.
     Bring the sauce to a boil and occasionally stir as the gravy thickens to a very thin consistency.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add the reserved sautéed onions.
     Add 1 small pinch of rubbed sage.
     Add 1 small bay leaf.    
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Gently simmer and reduce till the gravy is a thin sauce consistency that can coat a spoon.  The volume should be about 2 cups.
     Step 5:  Keep the onion gravy warm over very low heat.
     Remove the bay leaf before serving.

     Maple Sausage Patties For Toad In A Hole:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Step 1:  Divide 6 ounces of uncased maple sausage into 2 equal portions.
     Press each sausage portion into an oval patty shape that is about 3/8" thick.
     Step 2:  Heat a griddle or sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
     Place the sausage patties in the pan.
     Grill the sausage patties till they are almost fully cooked and most of the grease is rendered out of the sausage.
     *Try not to brown the sausage.  The sausage will finish cooking in the oven with the Yorkshire Pudding.
     Step 3:  Place the sausage patties on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan to drain off the excess grease.

     Yorkshire Pudding Batter:  
     This recipe yields 4 to 5 individual size Yorkshire Puddings!
     Yorkshire Pudding is a proportion recipe.  The proportion of each ingredient never changes, no matter what size batch is made.  This is one of the easiest proportion recipes to learn.  To make it easy, the volume of the eggs can be gauged in a measuring cup and this same volume of milk and flour can be established.
     Step 1:  Place 4 large eggs in a mixing bowl.
     Add enough milk to equal the volume of the eggs.  (A little more than 1/2 cup)
     Add enough flour to equal the volume of the eggs, while whisking.  (A little more than 1/2 cup)  
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt.
     Step 2:  Whisk the ingredients together.
     *The batter should be thin and it should resemble crêpe batter.
     Place the batter in a small pitcher. 

     Maple Sausage Toad In A Hole:
     This recipe yields 2 Toad In A Hole.  (1 portion)
     Only two Toad In A Hole are made in this recipe.  There is enough batter for 4 or 5 Yorkies.  
     Either make more Toad In A Hole or make plain Yorkies in the extra muffin pan cups.  The plain Yorkies can be used for other recipes.  
     Step 1:  Select a seasoned muffin pan that has 4" wide cups.
     Place enough vegetable oil or melted roasted lard in each muffin cup, so the oil is 1/4" deep.
     Heat the muffin pan in a 425ºF oven till the oil become very hot, but it is not smoking.
     Step 2:  Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a stove top.
     Immediately add enough of the Yorkshire batter to each muffin cup, so each cup is about 2/3 full.
     Place the 2 reserved maple sausage patties in 2 of the Yorkshire Puddings.
     Step 3:  Immediately return the pan to the hot oven.  
     Bake until the Yorkies puff up.
     Step 4:  Reduce the oven temperature to 375ºF.  (This step prevents scorching.)
     Continue baking till the Yorkies are lightly browned and crusty.
     Remove the pan from the oven.
     Step 5:  Use a thin spatula to remove the two Toad In A Hole from the pan and place them on a serving plate.
     Keep the plate warm on a stove top.
     *If plain Yorkies filled the rest of the muffin cups in the pan, invert the pan over a wire screen roasting rack to pop the Yorkies out.  The plain Yorkies can be refrigerated till they are needed.  

     Mint Peas:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.  
     The mint peas can be made while the Toad In A Hole Bakes.
     Step 1:  Cook 3/4 cup of frozen sweet peas in boiling salted water in a small sauce pot, till they become hot.
     Step 2:  Drain the water off of the peas.
     Return the peas to the sauce pot.
     Step 3:  Place the sauce pot and peas over medium low heat.
     Add 1/4 cup of light chicken broth.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 2 pinches of dried mint.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Bring the liquid to a simmer.
     Step 4:  Keep the mint peas warm over very low heat.

     Maple Sausage Toad In A Hole with Onion Gravy and Mint Peas:
     Step 1:  Pour about 1/3 cup of onion gravy on a plate as a bed for the 2 Toad In A Hole.
     Step 2:  Place the 2 Maple Sausage Toad In A Hole on the gravy.
     Spoon about 1/4 cup more of the onion gravy over each Toad In A Hole.
     Step 3:  Place 1 portion of mint peas on the plate.
     Garnish with an Italian Parsley sprig.

     Toad In A Hole is a nice chilly weather meal!  

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