BBC Radio Surrey Mustardy Cheese, ham and leek pancakes

The lovely team at BBC Radio Surrey have invited me onto Joe Talbot’s show today to talk about pancakes, so I’ve been experimenting with some new recipes. Savoury pancakes do make an excellent weekday supper, so it’s odd that we always seem to forget about them until Shrove Tuesday comes around. That’s about to change as having tested this recipe on my official tasters at home, it’s definitely here to stay!

This recipe uses a simple pancake batter, with finely grated cheese and chopped chives added into the mix, to make a robust, but light pancake that will hold the filling perfectly. I like to use a serious amount of wholegrain mustard to give a hefty kick, but if you prefer your recipes a little lighter, halve the mustard.

Feeds 4

Pancake batter

120g flour

¼ tsp salt

1 egg

black pepper

300ml milk

40g finely grated cheddar

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives, plus extra to serve

Oil for frying


25g butter

25g plain flour

350ml full cream milk

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard


knob of butter

1 medium leek finely sliced

200g sliced ham, chopped into small pieces

140g grated cheddar or gruyere

 First, make the batter. Sieve the flour and salt into a small bowl and whisk in the egg. Add the milk gradually, whisking in between each addition until smooth. Season with black pepper, then stir in the grated cheese and chives. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes while you prepare the sauce.

Melt 25g of butter with the flour and stir into a paste. Add the milk a little at a time, stirring continuously. When you have a thick sauce bring to the boil and stir for two minutes to get rid of any persistent lumps, then turn off the heat and stir in the mustard. Set aside two tablespoons of grated cheese for the final dish and stir the rest into the sauce. 

Melt the knob of butter in a pan and add the sliced leeks with a pinch of salt. Cover and cook gently for 10-12 minutes until soft, then tip into the sauce and stir well. Add the chopped ham and add seasoning if needed.  Cover and set aside.

Heat the oven to 190/170 fan 

Heat a 20cm non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and pour in enough oil to just coat the base. When the oil is hot, add a ladleful of batter to the centre of the pan, and gently rotate the pan so the mixture swirls evenly across the pan and covers the whole base. Leave for a few minutes until the edges are starting to crinkle, then lift a few edges to see if the pancake is lightly golden underneath. When it is, loosen the edges and flip or gently lift and turn the pancake to cook the other side. When it’s ready, move to a warm plate and cover, while you continue cooking the pancakes, adding a little oil in between each one. You should be able to make six evenly sized pancakes. 

When the pancakes are ready, place a sixth of the filling on each and roll up. Place side by side in a shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbling. Serve topped with chopped chives.

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