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Appears in

The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook

The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook

By Annie Gray

Published 2019

  • About

The servants’ hall table at Downton is usually laden with batter puddings, potatoes, stews, and vegetables that are cheap and filling. Rather than being carefully molded and garnished, the dishes are typically served in the vessel they were cooked in, and while some of them take a long time to simmer or bake, the effort and time involved in making them is minimal. Toad-in-the-hole was typical of servants’ fare in the early twentieth century, as it was cheap, easy, and versatile. The name dates back to the eighteenth century, though it’s unclear why the meat was called a toad—possibly because it peeps from the batter like a toad from its burrow.


  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk
  • 1 cup (115 g) flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Butter, lard, or pan drippings, for preparing the pie dish
  • 1 lb (450 g) bulk sausage meat or chopped raw sausages
  • Onion or meat gravy, for serving


To make the batter, whisk together the milk, flour, salt, and eggs in a bowl until thoroughly mixed. Set aside for 15–30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F 180°C). Butter a 9-inch (23-cm) pie dish.

Scatter the sausage over the bottom of the prepared dish. Put the dish into the oven for 10 minutes to render some of the fat and brown the sausage lightly. Remove from the oven, pour the batter over the sausage, and return to the oven. Bake until the sausage is cooked through and the batter has puffed up and browned, about 45 minutes.

Serve hot with gravy.

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