Toad in the Hole

September 2013

This is a truly comforting and classic dish, serve with lashings of gravy and your favourite vegetables. Serves 3


6 sausages
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Freshly ground black pepper
Half teaspoon salt
2 eggs
200 mils milk


  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees
  2. Place your sausages in a high-sided baking tray along with 1 tablespoon of oil and the rosemary sprigs and place in the oven for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned. The size of your baking tray is important; it needs to fit your sausages with a little space between them. The one I used was 20cm by 20cm. It is also better if your baking tray is heavy-based since it will hold the heat better and ensure a better rise.
  3. While the sausages are cooking, make the batter. Sift together the flour salt and baking powder then add a good twist of freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Crack in the two eggs and mix thoroughly. Add the milk little by little, mixing constantly until you have a smooth thick batter.
  5. When the sausages are brown, remove the rosemary and quickly pour over the batter and return the pan to the oven. The batter should sizzle when added to the tray so take care not to get spattered with oil.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until browned, risen and crisp. Enjoy it with lashings of gravy and your favourite vegetables. 

September Stew with Parsley Dumplings

With the winds getting colder and the nights drawing in, it’s good to have something seasonal and comforting to eat in the evening.

Serves 4.


For the stew

500g stewing steak, cubed
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 large onion
3 medium carrots
1 medium courgette
1 large potato
1 heaped tablespoon of plain flour
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of yeast extract  (marmite)
1 teaspoon Worcester sauce

For the dumplings

100g self-raising flour
50g suet
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons of water


  1. Fry the stewing steak off with the oil in a pan large enough to hold all the meat in a single layer. This stage is the most important because here we are caramelising the sugars in the meat and building up flavour.
  2. While the mead it browning, chop your onion.
  3. When the meat is well browned and any liquid it has released has evaporated add the onion and continue to fry on a medium heat.
  4. Chop the rest of your vegetables and add them to the pan when the onion is starting to become tender.
  5. Sprinkle the flour on top of the meat and vegetables and stir it through. At this point brown crusty deliciousness will be beginning to form on the base of your pan. Add enough boiling water to just cover your meat and veg and use a wooden spoon to scrape the delicious residue from the bottom of your pan.
  6. Add the bay leaves, yeast extract and Worcester sauce and cook for about an hour and a half. Your stew is ready when the meat is tender and soft.
  7. Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Add the dry ingredients and parsley to a bowl and mix in the water to a soft dough.  Set aside until required.
  8. When your stew is 15 minutes from serving, roll your dumpling mix into balls roughly 2cm in diameter and drop them onto the surface of the stew leaving room between them for expansion. Put a lid on your pan and cook for 15 minutes.
  9. Serve either on its own or with a big chunk of bread. This is not a dainty dish but it tastes like a hug in a bowl!