If you suddenly found yourself single in the last week or two you will be surprised to learn that you are not the only ones. February is statistically the most popular for the breaking up of relationships. Maybe it is the thought of Valentine's day and all that lovey-dovey stuff that breaks shaky relationships.
So Chef Nick has something to cheer you up. Good stodgy comfort food idea for a winters night. I think we can kick the diet into touch now, can't we? Yup, and open the bloody wine while you are at it.
You will need:
- 200 grams of plain flour
- 3 eggs
- 300ml of milk. I would recommend full fat for this. You will taste the difference.
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- Baking soda (optional)
- Two good quality butchers sausages. Can I recommend Aubrey Allen of Coventry.
- Half an onion
- Sticky brown sugar
- Sweet red wine, like Mavrodaphne
- Instant gravy (yeah, don't judge me)
- Sauce pan
- Oven proof dish
- Mixing bowl
- Green chopping board
- Sharp veg knife
- Baking tray
- Pan stand or nice thick wooden board
- Set your oven to 200 degrees. Place your sausages on a tray and bake for ten minutes or until they are just starting to brown a little. At the same time add two die-sized cubes of lard to a baking dish and place it into the oven next to the sausages.
- While they are baking, place a green chopping board on a flat work surface over a damp cloth. Finely slice half an onion. Heat some oil in a sauce pan and add the onion. Fry it until it is golden brown. Add two heaped tablespoons of brown sugar and allow it to melt into the onions. Add 125ml of red wine. You don't need me to tell you what to do with the rest of it...
- Make up some instant gravy in a jug, make sure it is nice and thick. Add it to the sauce pan. Stir it in and reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
- Remove the sausages from the oven and set them aside. Turn your oven up to maximum so the oil in the baking dish gets very hot.
- Measure out the flour, oil and milk. Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the milk and oil. Mix them well and slowly mix in the flour until you have a nice smooth batter.
- Now the dangerous bit, please use extreme caution. Using a thick dry oven cloth remove the baking dish with the oil and place it on a pan stand or wooden board. Add to it enough batter mix to fill it a quarter way (or slightly less). Add the sausages using the tongs. Carefully place it back in the oven and cook for a further ten minutes at 200 degrees.
Do NOT open the oven for ten minutes, or it will deflate.
Go listen to Morrissey or something.
7. Now check the pudding by standing well back and opening the oven door an inch. If it looks risen and nicely brown it is good to eat. If not, give it another ten minutes. As long as you keep the heat in the oven, or can see it through a window, you will be fine.
Remove the Toad in the Hole from the oven using great care. Place your oven dish on a cool plate and pour the gravy over the top. Serve it up with the rest of the bottle of red wine.
Now, give Chef Nick a smile.