This is a wonderful, traditional English dish - comforting, warming and filling. A great mid-week dish to feed a hungry family.
This recipe uses Pork Sausages, but you can be a tad experimental by choosing another variety - perhaps with a stronger flavour if you like it. It's a delightful combination of light, crispy, batter - plump, meaty pork sausages, generously moistened with Red Onion Gravy.
4 tablespoons of beef dripping
8 pork sausages (or something stronger if you prefer)
For the batter
110g plain flour
Good pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
150 ml milk, mixed with 150 ml water
Red Onion Gravy
Makes 200-350 ml, depending on reduction
675 g red onions, finely sliced
2 tablespoons oil
1½ tablespoons soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
750 ml Brown Chicken Stock
1 bouquet garni
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Make the batter: sift the flour and salt into a large, wide bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs.
2. Using a whisk or wooden spoon, mix the eggs to a paste and very gradually draw in the surrounding flour, adding just enough milk and water to keep the central mixture the consistency of single cream. When all the flour is incorporated, stir in the rest of the milk. The batter can be made more speedily by putting all the ingredients in a blender or food processor for a few seconds, but take care not to over whisk or the mixture will be bubbly. Leave to rest in a refrigerator for 30-minutes before use. This allows the starch cells to swell, giving a lighter, less doughy final product.
3. Heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the dripping in a frying pan and fry the sausages until evenly browned all over, but do not cook them through.
5. Heat the remaining dripping in a flameproof shallow dish or roasting pan until smoking hot. Add the sausages and pour in the batter.
6. Bake in the oven for 40-minutes, or until the batter has risen and browned. Serve with the hot Red Onion gravy.
For the Red Onion Gravy
1. Place the onions and oil in a large pan and sweat for 15-20 minutes over a low heat, until very soft and reduced to half of their original volume.
2. Stir the sugar and vinegar into the pan, increase the heat and cook for a further 5-minutes, or until nicely browned.
3. Pour over the stock and bring to the boil.
4. Add the bouquet garni, reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half.
5. Remove the bouquet garni, taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.