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Weekend Recipe: Toad-in-the-Hole from Pippa Middleton:

Here's something very British just in time for Hallowe'en from Pippa Middleton's book, 'Celebrate'.
By Motherpedia
Date: October 27 2012
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David Loftus from ‘Celebrate’ by Pippa Middleton

Motherpedia’s Weekend Recipe is always a fun choice, but with Grandparents Day tomorrow, Hallowe'en on Wednesday and variable Spring weather around the country, it was tough to decide this weekend.

But we couldn’t go past a sample from Pippa Middleton’s book, Celebrate, which is all about helping you to throw a party – full of beautiful photographs by David Loftus with rosy cheeked children enjoying themselves, practical suggestions and with the smiling author looking immaculate even when surrounded by excitable kids at a birthday party.

“The book is designed to be a comprehensive guide to home entertaining, based on my experience in my family’s party business Party Pieces, and work for London-based events company Table Talk," writes Pippa in the introduction.

"It is a useful and practical journey into British-themed occasions and I hope it offers welcome inspiration and ideas, most of which needn’t leave you alarmingly out of pocket."

Below is Pippa’s recipe for Toad-in-the-Hole with onion gravy - a traditional British dish which Pippa says is perfect for Hallowe’en because when else would you put a toad one someone’s plate?

Serves 8

Buy the sausages from a local butcher and choose interesting flavours for variety. The batter is flavoured with rosemary, but you could also try a few pinches of paprika or replace the mustard powder with a tablespoon of wholegrain mustard. Dish up with a rich onion gravy. 

16 pork sausages – Pippa suggests you could buy flavoured sausages from the butcher for some variety
16 slices Parma ham
2 tablespoons olive oil
450g (1lb) plain flour
8 medium eggs
500ml (18fl oz) milk
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary – this is for the batter, but Pippa suggests you could also try a few pinches of paprika (which would give a very different taste!)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the onion gravy

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and finely sliced
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1.2 litres beef stock

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Wrap the sausages in Parma ham.

Pour the oil into the bottom of two 33cm x 24cm x 4cm-deep baking trays and arrange the sausages in a single layer in each tin. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, eggs and half the milk. Gradually mix in the rest of the milk until smooth. Add the mustard and rosemary, and season with salt and pepper.

Remove the tins from the oven. Ladle the batter over the sausages until they are three-quarters covered. Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen and golden brown.

To make the onion gravy, heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the sliced onion and cook over a gentle heat until soft, golden and caramelised. Stir in the mustard and pour in the stock. 

Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce for 10 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened and reduced by half.

A rich and savoury red wine works well with this dish, as does mashed potato or Colcannon (a traditional Irish dish with mashed potato with kale or cabbage) or, for a healthy variation, sweet potato mash.

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