Chestnut, lamb and apple toad in the hole with chestnut and onion gravy

Serves 4 Starters and mains




  • 225g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 3 eggs
  • 500ml milk

For the chestnut and onion gravy

  • 30g butter
  • 1tbsp sunflower oil
  • 150g onions, halved, finely sliced then roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely crushed
  • 100g Portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 2tsp plain flour
  • 75g chestnut purée
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2tsp tomato purée
  • 2tsp cider vinegar
  • 1tbsp red wine
  • 1tsp tamari
  • 400ml lamb or chicken stock
  • 1/2tsp sea salt flakes, or to taste

For the lamb patties

  • 250g lamb mince
  • 85g chestnuts, chopped into small dice
  • 2 small Braeburn apples, peeled and cored
  • 25g butter
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/2tsp pul biber
  • 5g picked thyme leaves
  • 10g curly parsley leaves
  • 11/2tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp duck fat


Around 2 hours before, make the batter. Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the middle, crack in the eggs and add a little milk. Whisk gently
in the middle so the flour falls gradually into the liquid. Keep adding a little milk and whisking until all the flour is incorporated and all the milk is added. Whisk until smooth, then leave in a cool place for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, to make the gravy, put the butter and oil in a frying pan over a low heat, add the onions and gently cook to soften, until they are an even, golden colour, without burning. Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to cook for around 5 minutes until the mushrooms soften.

Stir in the flour and chestnut purée, then the mustard and tomato purée, followed by
the vinegar, red wine, tamari and stock. Stir and cook slowly for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens a little, and add the salt if needed. Set aside until needed.

For the patties, put the lamb mince in a bowl with the chestnuts. Chop the apple into very small cubes. Heat the butter in a large frying pan and cook the apples for around 5 minutes until just golden, then cool completely.

Mix the apple and the spices, herbs, salt and pepper into the mince and chestnut mix, then add the egg. Use clean hands to mix to a paste.

Form into 12 patties, each weighing around 40g, and keep in the fridge until ready to cook the toad in the hole.

Preheat the oven to 210C/ 190C F/Gas 6. Put the duck fat in a deep, approx. 25x30cm baking dish and melt on the hob. When hot, carefully add the patties and pour in the batter – it should sizzle. Transfer to the oven and cook for around 35 minutes. Warm the gravy through ready to serve with the toad in the hole.

Food styling : Lina Tubby. Photography and prop styling : Angela Dukes
Food styling : Lina Tubby. Photography and prop styling : Angela Dukes


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