Upgrade your toad-in-the-hole with roasted butternut squash
An upgrade on the (already) classic, delicious toad-in-the-hole, try butternut squash in toad-in-the-hole.
PREP TIME: 5 mins
COOKING TIME: 25 mins + 25 mins roasting butternut squash
IDEAL FOR: midweek meal, crowd-pleaser
Back in the 18th century, toad-in-the-hole was a dish for the poor.
Because meat was expensive, this was an easy way to stretch out a meal.
And by using cheaper ingredients and bulking out the meal with what is effectively a giant Yorkshire pudding, it was a winner.
The Yorkshire pud had been invented earlier that century.
It was a popular, cheap way of feeding the family.
But before the mighty sausage came into it, things like pigeons and kidneys were used.
In 1861, Mrs Beeton, famous for writing the Book of Household Management, had several recipes for Toad-in the-hole with beef, kidneys, and mutton.
… but never toad.
Apparently, the toad reference is because it looks like toads lying in their burrows waiting for prey to pass by.
Not the nicest reference to a delicious and quick meal.
But hey, Brits are a little eccentric from time to time 😉
Of course, there are other versions of how toad-in-the-hole got its name.
Not a lot nicer than toads lying in their burrows.
But one name theory includes a golfer putting his ball into a hole.
And, you guessed it, a toad threw it out of the hole he was chilling out in.
So, the hotel chef heard this story.
And created a dish to capture the idea of a toad in a golf hole as a little bit of tongue and cheek.
Either story seems a slightly unusual way of naming a nice dish.
But it hasn’t deterred any of us from loving its simplicity.
And its tastiness.
Quick tips for tasty butternut squash in toad-in-the-hole
As we all know, it’s not a tricky dish but here are a few little tips.
- Brown your sausages before you pour the batter in
- Roast your butternut with your saussies (and peel them first)
- Take your time mixing the batter – you don’t want lumps
- Whisk the eggs
- Add the flour in slowly so you can combine really well and create a smooth paste
- Slowly add the milk
- Make sure you’ve heated the oil in the pan before pouring the batter in (but if you do Tip.1 that’s already sorted)
- Don’t open the oven until golden… at least 25mins
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into wedges
- sunflower oil
- 8 (good quality) sausages
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
- 100 g smoked cheddar cheese (grated or crumbled)
- 2 large red onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 knobs of unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 level tablespoon vegetable stock powder or 1 organic vegetable stock cube
- 285 ml milk
- 115 g plain flour
- 3 large free-range eggs
- pinch of salt (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
- In a bowl add the eggs and whisk. Then slowly add the flour whisking it in to make a smooth paste. Then slowly add in the milk (and a pinch of salt).Set the batter to the side.
- Place the squash in a roasting tin and season. Add the sausages, garlic and rosemary, and drizzle everything with olive oil. Bake for 25 mins or until cooked.
- Add to the roasting tin 2 tbsps of sunflower oil (or cover the tin by approx 1cm) and place in the oven on your highest setting (my oven goes to 220ºC)Once the oil is hot (and do this as speedily as you can so you don't lose heat), take the roasting dish out of the oven and (carefully) pour the batter over the sausages, squash, and rosemary.Put back in the oven and don't open it for at least 20 minutes (*Yorkshire puddings can be a bit temperamental with rising). A few minutes before you take it out, sprinkle the smoked cheddar cheese over top, pop back in to let it melt.Remove from the oven when golden and crisp, after approx. 25 – 30 mins..
- Finely slice the onions and garlic, and fry off in the butter on medium heat for approx 5 mins, or until translucent.Add a little thyme or rosemary, if you have any, add balsamic vinegar and cook it down by half.Next, add a stock cube or powder and sprinkle this in and add a little water. Allow to simmer.Serve with mash, greens, etc
For more sausage dishes that are simple and tasty, check out Simple sausage & butter bean stew