Friday, 27 April 2018

It Was Mush of a Mushness

Before Easter, I spotted this Nigel Slater recipe in the Guardian, and decided it looked both filling and economical. However, the sausages and beans purchased at Cornerstones were eaten up at different meals, it has taken till now for me to try it out. We greatly enjoyed it as our meal on Wednesday evening. NS says it serves 2-3, but we ate 60% as part of a 'main' meal, and felt the remaining portion would divide into 2 for a lighter lunch. 
Confession - my gravy was way too thick - I realised afterwards that I'd omitted the Marsala [because I didn't have any] and forgot to add any other sort of liquid in its place. So the gravy was a thick oniony mush. The butterbeans in the 'toad' cooked to a creamy mush consistency - and although the outside was crisp, the inside of the toad had a delicious mushy texture. Bob declared the combination of the three mushes actually worked surprisingly well. He also said that chopping the sausages up meant the meaty flavour was well distributed throughout the dish. 
My thyme sank into the batter - perhaps I should have reserved some to strew elegantly on top before bringing the dish to the table. But it was a satisfying, if somewhat mushy, meal. [Mine pictured  above, Nigel's below]
Nigel Slaters Sausage and Beans Toad-in-the Hole
The recipe
Set the oven at 240ÂșC. Fry 4 Cumberland or herby breakfast sausages in 3 tbsp of oil or lard until evenly golden brown. Make life easier by using a pan, about 22cm in diameter, that will later go in the oven [I used my oval Le Creuset dish].
Remove the sausages from the pan and slice into thick pieces. Drain a 400g can of butterbeans, but don’t rinse them.
Make a batter by whisking together 2 eggs, 150ml of milk and 150ml of water, 125g of plain flour and a little salt and pepper. Set aside. Roughly chop 1 tbsp of thyme leaves.
Put the sausage pan in the oven and leave until the fat is smoking hot, remove from the oven then tip in the sausages and return the pan to the oven for 10 minutes.
Pour the batter over the beans and sausages. Scatter over the thyme and return to the oven and bake for a further 25 minutes or so until risen. Enough for 2 or 3.
The trick
The heat of the fat is crucial. Make sure that it is hot to the point of smoking before adding the sausage and then, 10 minutes later, the batter. The intense heat helps the batter to rise.
The twist
Not so much a twist, but a toad in the hole really does require some gravy. Peel and thinly slice 2 medium onions, and soften them with 3 tbsp of olive oil, add 2 tbsp of flour, cook for a few minutes then pour in 500ml of beef stock, then a glass of marsala or medium dry sherry. Simmer for 15-20 minutes on a low heat, then add a couple of pinches of sugar, plus salt and pepper, and serve alongside the batter pudding.
Not one but two very generous friends from the church have blessed us with gifts of homegrown rhubarb this week. 
I spent Thursday morning baking for the freezer. Three lots of Rhubarb Windows, [click on THISlink for the recipe] plus some crumbles, and a dish of roasted rhubarb to stir into my home made yogurt.
If and when I do get some teaching, it will be reassuring to know that I have puds in the freezer. I need a sweet treat after a day in the classroom. Thank you friends for your kindness!


  1. I always have a go at Nigel Slater's recipes. They are just a bit different, although I have not tried this one. Mush on mush and slightly brown? anything with rhubarb though is fine by me.

  2. I made a sausage and onion gravy casserole last week and it was lovely - but I'll keep this Nigel Slater recipe to give it a try later. I love rhubarb! I'm going to check and see if there's some at a good price in the grocery store tomorrows I'd love to cook up some to have with my yogurt. Your baking looks lovely.

  3. Sounds great!
    I ADORE rhubarb! I was v lucky at the dinner table at music camp yesterday as we had a ginger and cinnamon cake for dessert which I'm not keen on. I was seated next to a non-dairy (in reality non milk, not egg) girl who was then served a dish of rhubarb with dairy free custard. She could eat the cake so I ate her rhubarb which was scrummy!

  4. I can't seem to find the link to the Rhubarb Windows recipe. I've just been presented with a nice pile of stalks and would love to try the recipe. Thank you.

  5. Here you are Nicky >

  6. Thank you so much. That's going to be our sweet treat this Bank Holiday weekend.


Always glad to hear from you - thanks for stopping by!
I am blocking anonymous comments now, due to excessive spam!