Creamy leek gratin, from Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain cookbook, is probably my favourite side dish ever. I add an onion for a bit of extra bulk. It’s just so delicious. It’s so, so good, and goes with anything and everything. I don’t know what else to put here. Make this recipe.
Serves 4-5 as a side.
2 rashes bacon
350g (approx 2 large) large leeks, washed, top-and-tailed, out leaves peeled
Salt and pepper
250ml chicken stock
5 tablespoons single cream
50g Caerphilly, Cheddar or other delicious cheese, crumbled
3 slices bread, crusts removed
1 clove garlic
Thyme leaves (fresh or dried)
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 8. Finely dice the bacon, add to a pot on a medium heat with the olive oil and a bay leaf. Cook until golden. While the bacon is cooking, wash and chop the leeks into 2cm slices. Roughly chop the onion. Add the leeks and onion into the pan with the bacon, along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock and cream. Give it a good stir and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes with the lid off.
While the leek mix is simmering, place the bread, garlic clove and thyme leaves (fresh or dried, whatever you’ve got) into a food processor and wiz them up. Crumble the cheese.
Once the leek mix has been simmering for the ten minutes, add about two thirds of the cheese and give it a stir. If the pot you’ve used on the cooktop isn’t oven-appropriate, decant the leek mix into an oven-safe dish. Pour the breadcrumbs on top of the leek mix, and top with the rest of the cheese.
Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until bubbling, golden and delicious.