Having had cooked for people from many different backgrounds, I have had the opportunity to experiment with various cuisines. Asian, American, Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean, and Indian dishes often find their way into my menus for my personal chef clients, but there are many cuisines that I am still learning. Those include African, Caribbean, and English, just to name a few. So today, I'm going back to basics and cooking up a classic but delicious English dish, toad in the hole. I was convinced that I had to make this dish once I saw a chef prepare it on the Food Network and I can honestly say, I have no regrets! Buttery Yorkshire pudding topped with mashed potatoes, German bratwursts and old-school gravy - nothing beats that combination.
Toad in the Hole
- 1 lb Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon Cognac
- 1 cup beef broth
- salt and pepper
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup clarified butter or shortening
- 2 links bratwursts
- Prepare Yorkshire pudding. Sift together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together eggs and milk in another bowl. Add flour and salt to the egg mixture and mix until just incorporated. Cover and let rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Prepare mashed potatoes. Peel potatoes and cut into medium size chunks. Place in a medium pot and cover potatoes with cold water. Season water with 1 teaspoon salt, cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes. Heat heavy cream until warm. Mash potatoes until smooth with mashed or ricer and add butter. Slowly add heavy cream until potatoes are creamy. Season with salt and set aside.
- Make the gravy. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Sprinkle flour and whisk together. Add beef stock and cognac and bring to simmer. Continue to cook for 4-5 minutes or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat cast iron pan in oven for 10 minutes. Carefully pour clarified butter or shortening into the hot pan and return to the oven for about 2 minutes or until smoky. Pour batter into pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and dry.
- While Yorkshire pudding is baking, cook bratwursts on the grill, stove top or in the oven until warmed throughout. Slice and keep warm.
- Top with mashed potatoes, bratwursts and gravy. Serve hot.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
I've made Yorkshire pudding once before in a muffin pan with some success but I was determined to perfect it this time around. Yorkshire pudding is made from only four ingredients: flour, milk, egg, and salt. Though the recipe is simple, there are several steps in the method that you should follow in order to have the perfect Yorkshire pudding.
Firstly, let the batter rest for 30 minutes after mixing. This allows the pudding to rise taller and become airy in the oven. I've read that it's even better if the batter rests overnight so if you have the time and patience, go ahead and let it rest overnight.
Secondly, make sure to preheat your cast iron skillet, pan, or baking dish in the oven before adding the batter. Preheat your oven to 450, then preheat your skillet for 10 minutes.
Lastly, make sure the oil you are using is hot, hot, hot. Avoid using olive oil, and opt for more saturated fats like clarified butter or shortening (no one said this dish was healthy!) Pour into the preheated pan and preheat the oil. Doing this allows the pudding to have the most beautiful crust once it finishes baking.
I was ecstatic when I saw my beautifully risen pudding out of the oven.
Top that beauty with some bangers, mash, and gravy and you're all set. You could put in the extra effort and make gravy from scratch for extra deliciousness.
I could have the Yorkshire pudding alone it was so darn delicious. Buttery, airy, with a golden crisp bottom, it was hard to stop it. Next time I see a toad in the hole on a menu, I won't hesitate to order it!
For more comfort dish inspiration check out this creamy mustard chicken with bacon sauce!