Traditional toad-in-the-hole consists of English-style banger sausages baked into a sheet tray of Yorkshire pudding, which is then sliced and smothered in gravy. This deconstructed version uses a giant Yorkshire pudding per serving which acts as an edible vessel for the bangers, mash and gravy, resulting in a more visually striking dish that still retains the authentic flavors and components of the traditional dish.
For the giant Yorkshire puddings: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs lightly. Add the flour and salt and whisk to create a paste. Add one-third of the milk and whisk until completely incorporated. Add another third and incorporate fully. Add the remaining third and incorporate completely. The batter should resemble heavy cream in consistency. Add more milk if required. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. Preheat the oven to its highest setting (but no more than 500 degrees F). Put six 6-inch empty round cake pans on a sheet tray and into the hot oven and allow them to heat through for 15 minutes. Working quickly to avoid the pans losing heat, pull them from the oven, split the oil evenly between the 6 pans and return them to the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove the batter from the fridge and stir gently if the mixture has separated. Working extremely quickly to retain the heat in the oiled pans, split the batter mixture evenly among the 6 pans and return them quickly to the oven. Bake until puffed up and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Don't be tempted to sneak a peek for at least 22 minutes, as partially risen puddings will collapse and be ruined. When ready, remove the pans from the oven and allow the puddings to cool slightly to set for a couple of minutes before removing. Serve immediately.
Meanwhile, for the mashed potatoes: Peel and dice the russet potatoes into equal pieces about 1-inch square. Put the potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold salted water and bring to a boil on high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. In a separate pot, gently heat the half-and-half, butter, and some salt and pepper until warmed through. Once the potatoes are tender, drain in a colander, return to the large pot and add the half-and-half mixture. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust the consistency, using more half-and-half if necessary. They should be loose without being runny. Keep warm until serving. For the sausages: Pan-fry the sausages over medium heat, turning frequently to brown evenly.
Gravy: Make a brown gravy according to packet instructions or reheat your left-over roast turkey gravy in a pan. Caramelize and add onions if an onion gravy is desired.
To assemble: Place the giant Yorkshire pudding in the middle of a large dinner plate, fill with a generous heap of mashed potatoes, top with 2 crossed sausages and flood the entire dish with lashings of gravy. Serve immediately.
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This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Grant MacNaughton, Mac's Fish and Chip Shop
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