Suffolk Toad

If any toad in the hole can be considered light, this is it. Rather than solid old sausages the Suffolk Toad is filled with comparatively dainty rolls of pork (or veal or chicken) with a herby, lemony stuffing. And if that sounds as though I’m hedging my words with lots of qualifiers, well, it is a batter pudding after all. It’s really very good, though, and I’d urge you to give it a try, especially as it’s British Yorkshire Pudding Day on Sunday.

Image of illustrated front cover of 1940s cookery book Farmhouse FareI’ve called it a Suffolk Toad but that’s taking a bit of a liberty. I’ve adapted it somewhat but the original recipe came from a Mrs Kitchener in Buckinghamshire. It’s included in Farmhouse Fare, a collection of readers’ recipes collated by Farmers’ Weekly in the 1940s. I’m obliged to Elisabeth Luard for highlighting it in one of her columns for The Oldie, because although I have the book, I hadn’t previously spotted this.

The second thank you goes to Karen Burns-Booth of Lavender and Lovage, whose Yorkshire pudding method simplifies the process of measuring the ingredients. Rather than giving weights she suggests using cups or mugs and simply varying the size of the cup depending on the intended size of the pudding. The ratios are one mug each of beaten eggs and plain flour to half a mug each of milk and water. Works every time and I speak as one who is normally a bit sniffy about the American cup measure.

And while I’m expressing gratitude, I should thank you for reading this. I’m sorry I haven’t been around much recently – a combination of covid, building works and the cookery school have eaten up my time. Thanks for sticking with me.

Notes: As mentioned above, you can substitute veal or chicken (thighs, I’d suggest) for the pork. You will need a roasting tin approx 30cm x 24cm. A cider gravy goes well with the suffolk toad.

Suffolk Toad

Image of Suffolk Toad in close-upo showing stuffed pork rolls in a Yorkshire pudding batter.

Ingredients:

About half a pork fillet/tenderloin (save the rest foranother dish)

50g fresh white breadcrumbs

Zest of 1/2 a lemon

2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

50g melted butter

Salt and pepper

8 rashers of thinly sliced smoked bacon (or stretch thicker rashers with the back of a table knife and halve them)

1 mug of beaten eggs (mine holds 250ml)

1 mug of plain flour

1/2 mug of milk

1/2 mug water

Salt and pepper

1 or 2 tbs oil

Method: 

Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl, add the parsley and zest over the lemon. Bind with the melted butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Using the thickest part of the pork fillet, cut eight slices about 1cm thick. Place between two sheets of plastic wrap or baking paper and bash flat with a steak hammer or rolling pin. They need to be very thin.

Put a tablespoon of stuffing on each of the pork slices and roll them up into a cylinder. Wrap a rasher of bacon round the circumference of each roll. Cover and set aside in the fridge.

Image of stuffed pork rolls wrapped in bacon

Mix the beaten eggs with the milk and water. Put the flour in a large jug and beat in the liquid ingredients. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bit lumpy right now, it will smooth out after a rest and another whisking. Season with salt and pepper and set aside in the fridge for an hour or more.

Heat the oven to 240C/220 fan/500F/Gas Mark 10. Around 45 minutes before you want to eat, pour the oil into the roasting tin and put it in the oven to heat up for five minutes or until it’s sizzling. Whisk the batter again. Carefully remove the tin from the oven, space the pork rolls around the base and pour in the batter. Cook for 30-35 minutes or until risen and golden.

Image of Suffolk Toad

Potted Ham

In the good old, bad old days, making potted ham was a way of conserving food to keep it from going off before it could be eaten. Modern refrigerators and freezers mean we don’t have the same problem, but if you have any leftover ham after Thanksgiving, Christmas or a.n.other holiday, this is a delicious way of using it up. Continue reading

Ham, Cheese and Mushroom Jalousie

I’m very partial to this little pie, it’s the perfect recipe for a chilly spring day when the sun is out, the wind is cold and you want something summery but haven’t quite relinquished comfort food and woolly jumpers. Continue reading

Pork Fillet with White Pudding

If you’re casting about for a special occasion meal to make, perhaps for Valentine’s Day, you might like to give this a try. Most of the prep can be done the day before, allowing you to spend more time necking champagne – or just necking. Continue reading

Pork, Beans and Chorizo

Not perhaps the most obvious recipe to offer for the holiday period but a real belly-warmer. It’s one I like to have handy in the freezer, ideal for those days when you want something comforting and a lot more satisfying than defrosting a supermarket pizza.

This one-pot is one of my autumn/winter standbys, in fact I’ve made it so often I can almost do it blindfold and with one hand tied behind my back. It was a bit of a surprise, therefore, to realise I’ve never really shared it with you properly before. Continue reading

Mummy Sausage Plait

I’ve never met a child who didn’t like a sausage pie and this Hallowe’en plait is a cheap and easy addition to a spooktastic table. To be honest, it makes me laugh every time I look at it, so it wouldn’t be out of place at a grown-ups’ supper either. Continue reading