With winter just around the corner, I’m all about those cosy comfort meals; the “hug-on-a-plate” meals, I like to call them. We’ve all got our own – mine include my nan’s mountainous roast dinners, huge bowls of carrot and coriander soup and mugfuls of hot chocolate. Mmm… ☕
I love food from different cuisines, like Italian pasta dishes or Indian curry houses (I’m sure dishes from the heart of Naples or New Delhi are much more inspiring than our versions, but there ya go), but I often ignore British food. I hardly ever make a Sunday roast at home and I’d much rather cheesy pasta or creamy curries than a traditional shepherd’s pie. I was brought up on what you’d call “classic British food”, so I’ve tried to be more adventurous in my own kitchen.
But now the nights are drawing in, I’m actually starting to look rather fondly on home-cooked comfort food and feel a sense of familiar warmth from it. This recipe for miniature toad in the hole with mixed mashed potatoes and vegetables is a homage to the food I remember from childhood – meat and two veg, mostly from the freezer, not quite perfect, but healthy and hearty and kind.
The sausages, broccoli, Yorkshire puddings and gravy granules are all ASDA Smartprice (my local supermarket, prices are based on their products), with the first three also being straight from the freezer. It makes this recipe low-cost and pretty easy; it looks complicated but, I promise you, it’s not! It’s a perfect Sunday dinner, and I really enjoyed tucking into this one! British food, I’m coming back to you.
4 Pork (or vegetarian) Sausages
4 Frozen Yorkshire Puddings
1 Medium Potato, Peeled and Cubed
1 Medium Sweet Potato, Peeled and Cubed
1 Mug of Frozen Broccoli
1 Medium Onion, Sliced
4 tsp Gravy Granules
Make sure you salt the boiling water used for the potatoes and broccoli because… Well, it’s just the done thing, isn’t it? Also, with the mashed potatoes, I like to add a pinch of salt, pepper, parsley and a small teaspoon of English mustard for a lovely flavour – but that’s just me!
So, this is how I did it…
1. Peel the carrots, season and roast whole in the oven on 200°C for 45 minutes 🥕
2. Cook the sausages in the oven according to packet instructions (in my oven they usually take around 30 minutes because it’s piddly and pathetic, so adjust the timings to suit your kitchen).
3. Meanwhile, peel both the potatoes, cut into cubes and boil in a large saucepan of salted water for 20 minutes, until soft enough to mash 🥔
4. Add the onions to a small frying pan and cook on a medium-low heat for 10 minutes to soften.
5. Throw the frozen broccoli into a small saucepan of boiling water for about 5 minutes (these only take minutes to cook, if you like your vegetables al dente then you probably won’t even need the full 5 minutes) 🥦
6. Add the Yorkshire puddings to the oven for the final 5 minutes of cooking (the ASDA puds only take 5 minutes to cook in the oven, if you’re using another brand double check the cooking times).
7. Drain the potatoes, add a touch of butter, milk or water and season, then mash with a potato masher or fork until you get a smooth, creamy mashed potato.
8. Make the gravy according to packet instructions – usually a case of just boiling water in the kettle, pouring in with granules and stirring until smooth.
9. Assemble! Remove the Yorkshire puddings from the oven, spoon the mash into the middle and top with a sausage. Throw the vegetables onto the plate, pour over some gravy and BOSH. Done!
Tips & Tricks
- Swap the pork sausages for veggie sausages and the meat gravy for onion gravy to make a vegetarian-friendly version.
- Drizzle a small drop of runny honey on the carrots before they go in the oven to make deliciously sweet honey roasted carrots.
- Using frozen sausages, broccoli and Yorkshire puddings made this recipe very cheap and very easy for me, but you don’t have to – if you fancy a higher quality meal, or you’re just a dab hand at homemade Yorkshire puds, you can avoid the freezer food.