On the way home this afternoon, we stopped at Aberystwyth Fire Station, where firefighters and volunteers were washing cars to raise money for charity. They made a brilliant job of my car which, if I'm honest, was in dire need of cleaning. I would never let the house get so dirty, but for some reason I don't think about cleaning the car in the same way.
Because of all the day's activity, I needed a 'no-brainer' to cook for supper, so Toad-in-the-Hole it was. We have this a lot; it's always a hit and doesn't really require any effort. I got the tip about adding the extra egg white to the batter from Gary Rhodes' tome New British Classics.
Toad in the Hole
1 egg white
250ml skimmed milk
175g plain flourlarge pinch of English mustard powder + good grinding of black pepper
Beat the egg, egg white and milk together. Sift the flour, mustard powder and pepper together, then whisk into the egg-and-milk mixture. Leave the batter to stand for half an hour if possible, then whisk in a splash of water just before using it.
40g beef dripping (or lard, if you prefer)
6-8 sausages (reckon on two per person)
Heat the oven to 220°c. Put the beef dripping in a roasting tin (I use my Silverwood™ 30x25cm roaster, to give you an idea of size) put the tin in the oven and get the fat really hot. Put the sausages in the tin (I never bother with browning them in a frying pan first; it just makes more pots to wash), then return the tin to the oven briefly before pouring in the batter. Cook for about 30 minutes.
I made a quick onion gravy using one onion, a bit of red wine left over from the other night and some beef stock, thickened with a little flour and butter. I shredded, then steamed half a Savoy cabbage and boiled some frozen sweetcorn. Dinner done and dusted, and very nice it was too.