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Boxing Day Brunch: Toad in the Hole

Merry Christmas everybody!
I hope you've had a fun day along with family and friends and ate all of the lovely stuff that surface this festive period.
We had a golden turkey and a Roast Salmon fillet with Herb stuffing, oozing with buttery tarragon and basil, prepared by yours truly. It is a great alternative if you have vegetarians around the table.

Boxing Day always makes me feel a bit deflated (no, not for lack of food) but because the big build up for Christmas is over, the big day has passed and everything is somehow quitter. Unless you hit the Sale off course, but we'll leave that for later.
A nice brunch always seems to do the trick though, especially if it comes along with some Bucks Fizz and hearty food. This time I decided to make Toad in the Hole for the first time ever, using the little sausages wrapped in bacon that we normally have on Christmas Day. They tend to get lost amongst the rest of the trimmings but I think they deserve their own little dish to shine through. Then you have the fresh Yorkshire Pudding batter to hug them and lift them up in fluffiness heaven!

Toad in the Hole with mini sausages, for 4 people:  
- 24 mini pork sausages wrapped in bacon
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half or in quarters if too big
- 300ml milk
- 3 heaped tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- salt & pepper
- Vegetable oil or Shortening (I used Trex)
For a simple Gravy:
- 1 cup of red whine
- 1 cup of water
- 3 tablespoons of Onion Gravy powder
- pinch of dried rosemary
- salt & pepper
Use a deep baking dish for this one. Put the sausages in the baking dish with enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the dish and about half an inch high; bake for 15 minutes in a 200C oven. The trick is that the oil is bubbling hot when the batter goes in, the heat will help the Yorkshire pudding batter rise to perfection.
In the meanwhile, in a deep bowl beat the eggs and milk with the pinch of salt and pepper and add the flour spoon by spoon, whisking constantly.
Once the sausages have had their 15 minutes in the oven, pull the tray out carefully, and pour the batter all around the sausages evenly. Pop it straight back in the hot oven for 20 minutes and watch as it all rises up! The corners and sides will rise first. After 20 minutes watch it closely to make sure that the top is deep golden and crispy and that there is no uncooked batter in the centre of the baking tray. It might need another 10 - 15 minutes, it depends on your oven really.
Prepare the gravy:
Pop all of the ingredients in a small cooking pot over a low heat and cook until it thickens a bit and the sides start bubbling.

Serve the Toad in the hole with a good helping of gravy and a scoop of mustard and a dose of Christmas cheer. Oh! And a glass of Bucks Fizz!
Have a great day! x

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