Comfort food is a must when the weather starts to turn; this past ten days or so (apart from the mini heatwave the other weekend) especially when you have been at work all day and want something substantial and good for you to eat. I always have a main eye when I am cooking to how much it costs. If I switch the main oven on I always fill it up to get maximum amount of food cooked often preparing several things before actually switching the oven on. On this occasion I added some scones to the oven to make use of the cooker being on.
A meal is a meal at the end of the day and you don't have to have several vegetables on the plate at one time; sometimes its about making the best of simple ingredients and getting the best flavour out of them. Tonight we have had home made Toad in the Hole made with some decent sausages, home made onion gravy served very simply with home made mashed potato and it was warming, cheap and scrummy and best of all was made ready and served within an hour of being home. We buy a pack of sausages for about £10 from our local butchers and ended up with nine bags of four sausages which works out at about £1, and then there were a couple of onions and about 5 medium sized potatoes the milk eggs and flour so for well under £2 a head we have had a cheap tasty warming meal that has filled and warmed us up
I start off by frying some onions in a little oil and butter in a frying pan and then add a sprinkling of sugar to make the onions caramelise. Once they are golden brown I take them off the cooker and leave them to cool.
I then get a baking tray and pop the sausages in a little lard or oil and set the oven to gas mark 6 and get the fat and the sausages sizzling hot (I usually allow two sausages a person - as there is just the two of us I used four and then made a batter mix up of a mug of flour, a mug of eggs, a mug of milk all whipped and beaten together with a balloon whisk. When I have established that the fat is nice and hot and before I take the tray out of the oven I put about a teaspoonful of vinegar in the batter mix fold it through the batter mix and then pour it straight into the baking tray and cook until the pudding is golden brown.
I then peel potatoes and boil them up and get them on the go.
Not long before serving I add a little hot water to the onions and then cooking and repeating the process until there is enough liquid in the pan I then add stock cubes, herbs and seasoning (I use a lot of white pepper) and a little thickening if necessary and get the gravy bubbling away. I do test with a teaspoon as I go along to ensure that I am happy with the flavouring.
I usually mash the potatoes up and have the gravy ready for serving and then cut the yorkshire pudding into quarters and served with two sausages each [ there is usally yorkshire pudding left but this soon was snaffled by the OH who finished off the last of the potatoes and the gravy and the yorkie he went back for seconds]. Pour nice hot gravy over and serve.
Right am off to have a tidy up and get things ready for work tomorrow.
Catch you soon