Weeks ago, I bought some fantastic-looking merguez sausage at the farmers' market. (In the winter, when the vegetable stands hold little more than a few sad looking potatoes, I tend to buy a lot of meat and eggs.) Unsure of what I wanted to d
o with it, I put it in the freezer and promptly forgot about it. Last week, while cleaning out the freezer, I came upon the merguez and moved it to the fridge, determined to make use of it. A couple days later, after taking stock of the rest of the contents of the refrigerator and finding a few sweet potatoes, an onion and some rosemary, it came to me: I'd rustle up a new kind of hash.
The resulting dish was well-balanced with great flavor from the merguez, which was garlicky and perfecty spiced. The sweet potatoes were a mellow contrast to the salty, spicy lamb, and crispy bits of caramelized onion flecked the hash like golden bits of candy. I think this hash would be perfect for brunch with a fried or poached egg on top.
Note: I recently heard that a friend of mine insists a true hash always includes cream. I confess I'm less than knowledgeable on the subject, but in response to this strong hash conviction -- and, my friend, you know who you are -- I suggest topping this off with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche. It will offset some of the saltiness and make it all a little more lush.
Merguez and Sweet Potato Hash
1 pound lamb merguez, removed from its casings
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
I'm a native New Yorker with a decade of experience as a private chef, cooking instructor and food writer/editor; I have a culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu, as well as a highly practical BA in Comparative Literature (Italian and English). I live with my husband and daughter in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where we visit the farmers market most weekends.