Toad in the hole

Recipe by Paul Phillips

On British tables for more than 200 years, toad-in-the-hole was a way of making a little go a long way for the lower classes. I like to make things a bit more celebratory with honey-mustard sausages wrapped in bacon and enveloped in beer batter.

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 50 mins

Total time: 55 mins

Yield: Serves 4


  • 30g beef dripping
  • 8 cumberland sausages
  • 115g plain flour
  • Large pinch sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225ml full fat milk
  • 75ml beer
  • 30g fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 8 slices smoked streaky bacon

Cooking Directions

  1. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Beat in the eggs, then the beer and milk, stirring until the batter is the consistency of pouring cream. Strain through a sieve and stir in the thyme. Cover and leave to rest.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  4. Heat the dripping in a 30cm x 22cm oven proof dish until smoking. Add the sausages and coat completely in the hot fat. Cook for 20 minutes until just starting to colour.
  5. Mix the mustard and honey in a small bowl.
  6. Remove the sausages, putting the dish back in the oven to maintain its temperature, and brush liberally with the honey and mustard. Wrap each sausage with a slice of bacon and quickly seal in a hot frying pan.
  7. Add the wrapped sausages to the hot dish and pour in the batter. Return to the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes until well risen and golden. Don't be tempted to open the oven door too early or the batter will sink.
  8. Serve with onion gravy and vegetables.