This is a cheesy leek gratin recipe that makes the most of store cupboard essentials throughout the colder months – perfect for a rainy day, and full of flavour. My version contains more leek and less potato, and a little mustard for some kick.
Ingredients (serves 2-3 as a main course)
- 2 large potatoes
- 4 medium sized leeks
- 30g butter
- 20g flour 300ml milk
- 1 tsp English mustard
- 150g strong cheddar, grated
- few drops of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- Peel and parboil / steam the potatoes for 8-10 minutes, then refresh in cold water and slice into 1cm thick rounds.
- Slice leeks 1cm thick and sautee over a medium-low heat with 10g of butter until they are softened.
- Melt remaining 20g butter over a low heat, mix in the flour thoroughly, and slowly whisk in the milk, cooking until thickened.
- Remove from heat and add the leeks, mustard and half the cheese to the sauce, then season to taste.
- Arrange half the slices of potato around the base of a baking dish and pour over half the sauce, then follow with another layer of potato, finally topping with the remaining sauce and then the rest of the grated cheese.
- Bake for around 35 minutes at 180 degrees C, adding a splash of Worcestershire sauce to the top of the dish a couple of minutes before taking it out of the oven.
Thrifty meal tips
- This gratin is really good served with peas, greens or carrots on the side.
- You can also make this recipe as a side dish, by leaving out the mustard and Worcestershire sauce and using a milder cheese. It will serve 4-6 people.
- If you’re in a hurry, slice the potatoes very thinly instead of parboiling them, and add the leeks without sautéing them. If you don’t have time to make a sauce you can also mix 150ml double cream with 150ml vegetable stock, instead of using butter, flour and milk (although this slightly increases the cost).
- The widely available Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce isn’t suitable for vegetarians as it contains anchovies, but there are vegetarian alternatives available in health food shops.