“ Type: Other Ready Meals „
Cost: 99p each, per 250g pack
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per 250g pack):
- of which sugars: 4.8g
- of which saturates: 4.9g
Salt equivalent: 1.9g
Pork sausage (35%) [made of pork, water, rusk (made of wheat starch, salt)], pork fat, tapioca starch, wheat starch, salt, stabilisers (E450, E451), dextrose, spice and spice extracts (pepper extract, pimento, white pepper, mace, sage extract), water, wheatflour, egg white, skimmed milk, whole egg, rapeseed oil
Contains egg, milk, wheat, gluten
Somerfield's own brand of toad-in-the-hole can be found in the freezer section of the supermarket, close to other frozen meat-related products.
It comes in a reddish-brown rectangular box that has white writing, and bears the standard Somerfield logo. On the front of the box is a picture of a white plate, upon which nestles a serving of toad-in-the-hole. The uncooked item rests in a foil container that is wrapped in sealed cellophane, and placed inside the outer box. The rear of the box shows the nutritional content and allergy information in very small white lettering (I really did have to use a magnifying glass for the purposes of reading, then typing the information for this article!!)
I love toad-in-the-hole more than most other foods, but am so rubbish at making it myself, that I solely rely on various brands of the ready-meal frozen variety.
I find in general, the situation regarding various brands of frozen toad-in-the-hole is one of mixed fortunes; I have tried them all, and it didn't take me long to single out Somerfield's own brand as my out and out favourite, by far.
On opening the box and removing the cellophane wrapper, the product looks insipid and unappealing. The yorkshire pudding has a slight greyish tinge, and the four small sausages are a tired and pale grey/brown colour. The first thing a lot of people would want to do at that point is feed it to the rubbish bin, but I'd strongly advise trying to ignore the very unappetising appearance of this toad-in-the-hole, and to persevere with cooking and eating it.
The product needs to be cooked from frozen, for 25 minutes in a 400C pre-heated oven. During the cooking process, a lovely cooking smell that is decidedly meaty and yorkshire-puddingy emanates from the oven, and makes you wonder how something which looks so vile in its raw state can smell so good. If you have a glass-fronted oven, just take a peep every now and again during the cooking process, and watch that yorkshire pudding rising nicely above the edges of the foil carton.
Once cooked, taken from the oven and ready to serve, you will find that the toad-in-the-hole is very easily removed from the foil carton, and doesn't stick at all. There will be a residue of oil at the bottom of the carton, and at first sight this can be alarming, but in reality it isn't any more in volume than we would use when making our own toad-in-the-hole.
The yorkshire pudding rises well, especially around the edges, and what a transformation! What initially is a grey, depressing looking mess, turns into a nicely browned cooked article, with lovely, succulent sausages that seem to have undergone a complete makeover in the oven.
I would assume (though there is no information advising of this on the pack) that one 250g pack is intended to serve two people, but it's nowhere enough for me - I have to eat the whole pack to myself.
Now....the experience! Cut into the yorkshire pudding, and luxuriate in what comes close to toad-in-the-hole heaven. Somerfield have managed to get it exactly right, in that the yorkshire pudding is a combination of lightness and "puddingy-ness" which to me is totally authentic, and how it should be. The edges are well-risen, golden and lightly crispy, and the whole pudding has a delicious, almost creamy flavour. It doesn't have that overpowering and unpleasant "eggy-ness" to it which some other brands of frozen toad-in-the-hole sadly are guilty of.
The sausages, though thin, are superb - lightly spiced, with a touch of a peppery flavour, and harmonise perfectly with the delicious yorkshire pudding......also, and this is extremely important to me personally, the sausages don't contain one single vestige of what I call "jelly bags" - those awful, nauseating lumps of unchewable, retch-inducing gristle.
The only down-side to Somerfield Toad-In-The-Hole so that it's so delicious, after you've eaten your serving, you will be almost suicidal with disappointment that there is no more, so if you are the sort of person who enjoys eating and enjoys life, I suggest cooking two per person, and totally pigging out.....they are so cheap, this won't break the bank either.
The only caution I give regarding this product, is that it is extremely high in fat and calories......if you do manage to consume two all to yourself, you will be taking in more than half your daily recommended calorie allowance in one go!
In summary, I give Somerfield a resounding ten out of ten for the most perfect, delicious and wonderful ready-made toad-in-the-hole I have ever tasted, and I have tried them all......it is of course though, just personal opinion.
Thanks for reading!