12 December 2010

Recipe: Goodness gracious... What a great gratin!

My family really enjoyed this gratin. You can make this a purely vegetarian by not adding the bacon and or using a cream substitute.

Prep time: 15-20 mins
Cooking time: 50 mins

Ingredients (serves 4 people as a main dish or 6-8 people as a side dish):
  • A splash of olive oil
  • 2 rashers of smoky bacon (optional)
  • 1 large onion and/or leek, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500g root vegetables (swede, celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, even potatoes), finely sliced*
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • A pinch of ground cloves or a handful of thyme leaves
  • 1 mug of double or luxury pouring cream
  • ½ mug of vegetable or chicken stock, or water
  • A handful of oats
  • 1 mug of breadcrumbs
  • A handful of nuts (chestnuts, if you can), chopped
  • A nugget of butter
  • A handful of grated cheese (optional)

*Swede, celeriac and other big root vegetables need to be peeled and cut into more manageable pieces before slicing.


Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5.
  • Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a good splash of oil. Add the onion or leek and, if you are using it, the bacon. Fry till the bacon starts to crisp and the onions are soft.
  • Stir in the garlic and add the sliced root veggies.
  • Season well. If you are going to use the, add the cloves and gently fry for just a few minutes, just to soften them.
  • Stir in the cream and stock/water.
  • Simmer for 10-15 mins, till veg have softened.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as required. If you're using thyme instead of the cloves, add them now. Pour everything from the pan into a baking dish.
  • Mix topping ingredients together and scatter them over the top and bake till the top is crisp and golden, about 30 mins.
  • Delicious with winter greens stir-fried in oil, garlic with a good pinch of salt and pepper.

Recipe courtesy of Abel and Cole

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