Toad In The Hole

Since the Popover recipe was such a huge success, I thought I’d share this variation. Toad In The Hole is British comfort food at its best. It’s simply browned sausage with popover batter poured over it. I rarely eat pork as I can’t condone the practices at the production facilities. However, I do purchase pork sausage from local farmers who pasture their pigs. The pigs have very good lives and good food. The end of their lives is as important as their daily care. The pigs are taken to a local slaughterhouse where they go from the truck to the processing stage with no wait. Animal agriculture is an integral part of farming here in New England, where we have rocky pastures. Pigs make use of land that can’t be farmed in other ways. In any event, the sausage itself is fresh and delicious, and in a recipe like this, with few ingredients, each one has to be special. If you can’t get good pork sausage, there are some regional and national brands of organic chicken sausage that can be substituted.

Toad In The Hole

2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour|
1 cup lowfat milk
¼ teaspoon salt
1 pound sausage
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 long stem fresh rosemary

  1. Whisk together the eggs, flour, milk and salt. Refrigerate while doing the next steps.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. If using uncooked pork sausage, put 1 tablespoon of oil in a 9 by 9-inch baking dish (2 ½ quart casserole.) If using a drier, precooked chicken sausage, use 2 tablespoons of oil. Distribute the onions in the pan and add the sausage. Bake until browned, turning several times (large pork links will take 20 minutes total.)
  3. Carefully remove the pan from the oven (the fat might splatter) and pour in the batter. Lay the rosemary on top. Return to the oven.
  4. Bake until browned and puffed up, about 25 to 30 minutes. Like a popover, this will collapse.

4 large servings, leftovers can be reheated for breakfast


  1. Looks delicious..Do you think some good chicken or turkey sausage would work?

    • Yes, and have tried it with chicken sausage. The sausage doesn’t release as much grease, so use the full 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan.

  2. Nice! I haven’t made this in a while, thanks for the reminder. We have some nice sausage from our 1/4 pig, recently purchased from a local farmer. These pigs have a great life, grazing on green grass pasture, eating chestnuts fallen from trees at the edge of the field, and other OG, local feeds. I asked them about their slaughtering methods (the farmers, not the pigs), and they said they have a mobile slaughtering guy that comes right to the farm. He says they give the pigs a can of (locally crafted) beer (!) which they love, the morning the guy is to come. The pigs yum it down, then fall asleep, and they don’t even know anything is happening when the fatal moment comes. Huh. Sounds like the way to go for humies too.

  3. Springdell Farm looks like a wonderful place! Wish there were more of those kinds of places around.

  4. Funny how animals like beer. My sons pet “Ratty”, a really friendly white rat and recently sadly passed away at a ripe old age for a rat, absolutely loved beer. We looked after her whenever Steve was on holiday and he told us how she loved to lick some beer from his fingers. We used to have her out in the evenings and let her lick some beer which she went crazy for.

    • I had an appendix quarter horse gelding who we thought was a reborn good ole boy — he would do anything for 1) beer 2) peanut butter & jelly sandwiches 3) peanut butter cookies, and just loved to hang out and shoot the bull. If you handed him a beer, he’d grab it in his teeth, tip it up and swig.

  5. I can’t wait to try this. It looks beautiful and rustic in the pan. I think I’d make it for breakfast, along with multigrain hot cereal (for the non-pork eater) and fresh oj. Incidentally I just purchased local pork sausage (all as you described above, I am SO lucky to have a great local meat business here) and we have lots of arp rosemary outside.

  6. We have never known much about agriculture or British foods….so what we call “Toad in the Hole” is simply a slice of bread with a hole cut in the middle. We melt butter in a frying pan, put in the bread, and break an egg into the hole. We cook it till it’s nice and toasty on both sides. Most people like the yolk to be a bit runny, but I like mine fried solid and crispy around the edges. Often I dust it with harissa instead of black pepper.

    Haven’t seen any fresh sausage for a couple of years, since I went off it for a while. But they do have some fabulous fresh pork sausage at the Dupont Circle farmers market on sundays. YUM.

    • I call that “Birdie in a Basket” and have directions for it in my Farmstead Egg Cookbook. It’s my #1 favorite way to fry an egg. Harissa sounds like a delicious option on it!