It was in the 18th century that the first toad in the holes were produced. In these meat was baked in the Yorkshire pudding batter (originally pigeon was used) — the first recipe that I have found is Hannah Glasse's 1747 recipe for pigeons in a hole. The Victorians would use strips of bacon or mutton in their toad in the hole recipes (for example, see Mrs Beeton's recipe for toad-in-the-hole).
However, the modern version of the recipe uses sausages and it's this version that's given here. This is a pretty frugal family meal, but done well it is truly delicious.
Toad in the HoleServes: 3-6
100g (1 cup, scant) plain flour
6 good-quality sausages (traditionally pork)
1 tbsp vegetable oil (or beef dripping)
pinch of salt
2 medium eggs
300ml (1 1/4 cups) milk
Method:Heat the oil or beef dripping in a shallow oven-proof roasting tin (the same tin you will use to cook the toad in the hole). Add the sausages and fry for 10 minutes or until lightly browned (you do not need to cook the sausages all the way through, as they will finish in the oven).
In the meantime, mix together the flour and salt in a bowl. From a hollow in the centre and add the eggs. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon then gradually mix in the milk until all the flour has been incorporated.
Add the remaining milk and beat with a whisk until you have a smooth batter. Pour the batter in the pan with the sausages.
Immediately transfer to an oven pre-heated to 200ºC (400ºF, Gas Mark 6) and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the Yorkshire pudding batter is well risen and golden brown in colour.
Serve hot with creamed mashed potatoes and onion gravy.