There was something else in the fine print too… part of the dish had to be cooked over the coals! The minute I finished reading the brief my head started buzzing with ideas, and before I knew it I had a whole page of thoughts and scribblings for potential dishes. This is what I love about this competition, I have been so inspired to get creative in a completely different way. My notebook is brimming with ideas for future recipes and blog posts!
Back to the recipe at hand though. My dish is a South African take on the British classic – toad-in-the-hole. It is made with ostrich sausage and mielie meal and all the cooking is done on the braai. Can you get any more South African than that? I have paired the dish with a rich and velvety gravy made with red onions and Drosty-Hof Claret, not forgetting some good old South African chutney. This is accompanied by a fresh, minted green bean salad, a truly delicious way to enjoy your greens. Casual, colourful, full of flavour and proudly South African!
Two things to note: Toad-in-the-hole is best served immediately. The gravy, however, can be made ahead of time and reheated when it is time to dish up.
As usual I would be so grateful if you could take a few seconds to VOTE for this recipe on the Freshly Blogged site. Remember there are prizes up for grabs!
TOAD-IN-THE-HOLE WITH RED ONION GRAVY AND GREEN BEAN SALAD
For the gravy:
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 red onions, sliced
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- ½ cup Drosty-Hof Claret (or other red wine)
- 3 tbsp chutney
- 1½ cups beef stocks
- salt and pepper
For the toad-in-the-hole:
- 1 cup plain flour
- ½ cup mielie meal
- pinch of salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 500g ostrich sausage
For the green bean salad:
- 200g green beans
- pinch of salt
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- small handful fresh mint, roughly chopped
- black pepper
To make the gravy:
1.) Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the sliced red onions and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes until soft, stirring regularly.
2.) Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook for a further minute.
3.) Add the red wine, chutney and beef stock and stir well. Leave the gravy to simmer for 8-10 minutes until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
To make the toad-in-the-hole:
1.) Sift the flour, mielie meal and a good pinch of salt into a bowl. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a jug. Gradually pour this into the dry ingredients whisking between each addition. Continue to whisk until you have a smooth batter, then set this aside.
2.) Pour the sunflower oil into a 20cm fireproof pot. Arrange the ostrich sausage in a single layer at the bottom of the pot. Cover and place on a grid over the very hot coals and allow to brown for 10 minutes.
3.) Drain most of the excess fat from the pot (you can leave a little behind). Cut the sausage into 7cm pieces.
4.) Pour the batter over the sausages. Cover the pot and place in the hot coals for 5 minutes until the batter has set around the edges and is starting to set in the middle.
5.) Move the pot to a grid placed over the coals. Continue cooking until the batter has risen and is cooked through. Cooking times will vary but mine took 20 minutes to cook.
To make the green bean salad:
1.) Make this while “the toad” is cooking. Top and tail the green beans and cut them in half.
2.) Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the green beans and boil for 6 minutes. They should be tender but still have some bite.
3.) Combine the garlic, olive oil and mint in a bowl. Drain the beans, then toss everything together with a good grinding of black pepper. Serve immediately.