Toad in the Hole with Dark Ale Roasted Onions

, from Issue #18. September, 2015
Photography by Damien Van Der Vlist.
Toad in the Hole with Dark Ale Roasted Onions

Serves: 4


1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
250 ml milk
50 ml cream
3 eggs

1 tablespoon olive oil
knob of butter
8 pure pork sausages
4 Portobello mushrooms,
thickly sliced 8 small vine tomatoes

800 grams red onions, peeled
1 x 330 ml bottle dark ale, such as Monteith’s Winter Ale
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons grain mustard
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
large knob of butter
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

4 x 20 cm sauté pans or 35 cm x 25 cm roasting dish


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Onions: Cut the onions through the root into 8 wedges and place in a baking dish lined with tin foil. Stir the ale, sugar, mustard, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and garlic together and pour over the onions. Season and dot with the butter. Cover tightly and roast for 1 hour, shaking the tin occasionally.

Increase the heat to 200°C.

Uncover the onions and roast for a further 20-30 minutes until the beer has reduced to a syrupy consistency. These can be made ahead and reheated before serving.

Preheat or increase the oven to 220°C.

Batter: Put the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Whisk the milk, cream and eggs together. Gradually pour into the flour, whisking to make a smooth batter. Set aside until ready to use.

Filling: Heat the oil in a sauté pan and fry the sausages until cooked, remove and drain on kitchen paper. Drain off most of the oil, add a knob of butter and sauté the mushrooms until cooked. Season.

Put a teaspoon of olive oil in each pan and place in the oven to heat until the oil is shimmering. It is important the pans are searing hot to enable the batter to rise quickly. Divide the sausages and mushrooms between the pans and pour the batter around. It should sizzle when it hits the pan. Place the tomatoes on top and cook for about 15 minutes or until puffed and golden and the centre is firm.

To serve: Slide each toad onto a plate and serve with the roasted onions and a green salad.