Tuesday, 12 November 2013

An autumn inspired classic

If a nationwide survey was to take place, which asked each person their favourite season would be, I wonder what the results would be. The initial thought would probably be the much deserved summer we crave each year; however most British people confusingly do nothing but complain from July onwards if the temperature goes above 23. Upon further thinking I would say that autumn would come in first. Not many people complain about autumn being too long, since at the end of it is a daunting six months of freeze. For this reason (let us call it the reason of British fickleness) autumn would probably merit the best compliment to complain ratio.
I seem to be quite removed from food. What I am trying to say with the above is that autumn is here - and everyone loves it. With good reason too I would add, since it is a magnificent season, particularly speaking from a culinary point of view; however because of this general consensus of autumn being a magnificent season I shall refrain from being yet another person spurting out their clich├ęd description of the season. Instead I shall let the season and its produce speak for themselves with a simple recipe, not overly complicated but as autumnal as autumnal can be. It is somewhat a twist on that (in a way much forgotten) classic: toad in the hole.
This recipe is also supposed to have a handful of sage leaves scattered in amongst the sausages, but I forgot to pick any up. Feel free to add them if you have any to hand.

Autumnal toad in the hole with cider and mustard batter
Serves 4

- butcher's chipolata sausages, 8 (around
- large bramley apple
- large red onion
- oil, 1-2 tbsp
- plain flour, 100g
- beaten eggs, 2
- dry cider, 100ml
- milk, 100ml
- dijon mustard, tbsp
- sage leaves, small handful (optional)

Preheat an oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Cut the apple in half and then each half into six, and the onion into chunks. Spread the oil around a large roasting tin and toss in the sausages, apple, onion and sage leaves (if using) and roast in the oven for 10 minutes until the sausages are starting to brown.
Meanwhile make the batter. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the eggs, cider, milk and mustard. Whisk into a smooth batter and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the batter mix evenly around the roasting tin and return to the oven for another 25 minutes till golden and the sausages are cooked through. Enjoy with a seasonal slaw or salad and a glass of cider.

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