For this month I thought I’d make a savoury dish of comfort food. The ingredients all go well together, it can even be prepared ahead and baked when required. For a vegetarian option omit the bacon and sprinkle the top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. A chopped hardboiled egg could also be added. You will need an ovenproof dish of approximately 1 1/2 litres.
- 225g (8oz) potatoes
- 225g (8oz) leeks
- 40g (1 3/4oz) margarine
- 40g (1 3/4oz) plain flour
- 450ml (3/4 pint) milk
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard
- 110g (4oz) mature cheddar
- 110g (4oz) bacon - streaky is good
Peel and cook the potatoes, then slice them. Prepare and slice the leeks into one inch pieces. Put them into a pan of salted boiling water and cook for 5 minutes then drain very well.
Heat the oven to Gas 5 / 190C.
Make the sauce: in a pan melt the margarine, add the flour, cook 1 minute then add the milk by degrees and simmer 1 - 2 minutes, stirring all the time.
Grate the cheese and stir it in with the mustard. Taste for seasoning. Cut the bacon into small pieces Put the potatoes and leeks into the dish, coat with the sauce and top evenly with the bacon.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the bacon is cooked and the filling is hot.
Sprinkle with parsley if available.
If you have prepared this beforehand and it is cold, it may need a little longer in the oven to heat through, and perhaps need covering with foil towards the end to protect the bacon.