An Irish favourite, you can serve buttered leeks with roast beef or lamb. Buy firm leeks that don’t flop and are not wrinkled.
4 tablespoons butter
3 large leeks: remove the touch green tops, wash well to remove any soil and slice thinly
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2-3 tablespoons single cream
1. Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the leeks, stir and season lightly. Cover and cook over a gentle heat until the leeks are tender but not falling apart (check by poking them with a sharp knife). Stir from time to time so the leeks don’t stick. When they are soft, add the cream and cook for a few more minutes.
– To make a leek gratin, place the cooked leeks above in a buttered tight-fitting dish, sprinkle over breadcrumbs, dot with salty butter and bake in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden. Alternatively, fold the leeks into bechamel sauce, place in the buttered oven dish and top with crushed Tayto cheese and onion crisps! Bake in a hot oven until bubbling.
– You can use black pepper instead of white pepper, but it’s not traditional. Historically, we use white pepper in Irish recipes (we didn’t have black pepper until relatively recently). Also, the white pepper gives a light fragrant flavour to the leeks and doesn’t overpower them and you don’t see specks of black pepper in the dish.