It is established fact that pancakes are extremely effective vehicles for flavour. However, I often find that “normal” British pancakes – essentially crepes – are better suited to sweet, rather than savoury, toppings. Sourdough pancakes are a little different; their inherent “sourness” combines exceedingly well with savoury accompaniments – particularly those with strong flavours. Pancakes have never really ‘done it’ for me, that is, until these battery beauties found their way onto my plate.
The combination of sausage and pancake had, of course, presented itself to me long before this recipe came about. However, it wasn’t until I read this recipe, penned by Tom and Henry Herbert (aka the – fabulous – Baker Brothers), that the union of the two piqued my interest. Merguez is a variety of spicy mutton or beef based sausage, typically eaten in North African cuisine. Though not necessarily in themselves frugal, two or three of these heavily spiced bangers can be made to go rather far.
Spinach seemed like the natural addition to sausage and pancake – it has a flavour that can compete with the best and provides the dish with much needed lightness. However, a number of other greens would work just, or nearly, as well. Kale or a rugged wintry cabbage, such as January King, are just two of my suggested replacements for spinach and ones that would serve to lower the price of the dish even further. Just stick with the butter, always stick with the butter.
Merguez and Spinach Sourdough Pancakes
• 1 batch of sourdough pancakes
• Two large handfuls of fresh spinach
• 3 thin merguez sausages
• A large knob of salted butter
• Olive oil
1. As you’re getting towards the end of making your pancakes, heat a heavy based frying pan and a little oil. Slice the sausages into 1.5cm chunks and begin to fry.
2. Cook the sausages until they start turning crispy. In another pan heat up a knob of butter and wilt the spinach along with a twist of pepper. After a minute or two, before the spinach goes to nothing, add it to the sausages and serve atop stacks of pancakes.
Cost: Sourdough pancakes are exceedingly cheap, particularly as they avoid the unnecessary waste of starter. Merguez sausages can be a little pricey, but they go so far it isn’t really an issue. All in all, this delightful breakfast for two should set one back no more than about £2.80!
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