Another great autumn vegetable side dish for you to try out soon! Here is my oven baked leeks au gratin, or silky smooth leeks braised in beer… I’m sure that you are going to love this leeks au gratin braised in beer!
Do you like leeks?
I bet you do! Just like so many of us. Leeks are very popular. True, there are also many people who hate leeks. But I know more people who hate other greens like spinach, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels spouts and so on.
However leeks are far more accepted. And it is a definite family favorite here at our home! Both the hubs and I love cooking leeks.
In fact if I have to be very honest with you, then I would even go further and say that leeks are definitely in our top 10 if it comes to vegetables. Especially in the autumn and winter time. So why do we love leeks that much? Not sure. There’s just something so addictive about them.
My baked leeks are also quite popular here at home. In the wintertime we often like to braise a bunch of finely sliced leeks in a good couple of spoonful of butter. Just let them kind of melt all together until the leeks are extremely soft and smooth. Season it all with a generous dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper in the end…
Leeks Au Gratin with Beer
But back to this leek au gratin below.
Make sure that the leeks are extremely soft and smooth before you put them in the oven. Or your side dish might be a little chewy. The heat of the oven won’t make them any softer. Grilling the leeks is only to add some color on top. The panko and grilled bits will also give this dish the necessary crunch.
However the leeks should melt in your mouth.
- 3 large fresh leeks
- 1 small garlic clove
- ¼ cup pilsner beer (60 ml)
- 1 oz cheese (30 g), grated
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs or panko
- olive oil
Chop off the roots and remove the greener tougher parts. You can keep the latter aside to make a soup later. Then chop the leeks into 1 inch thick pieces. Rinse them very carefully under wold running tap water. Make sure those pieces stay intact!
Peel the garlic clove and slice it in half. In a large non-stick pan (preferably one that is oven-proof, with a lid) add a splash of olive oil and the garlic. Season with a good dash of pepper and a pinch of salt. Then place the pan over medium-high heat.
- Fry the garlic for 2 minutes in the hot oil. Remove both pieces and turn the heat lower to medium. Arrange the leeks nicely over the pan (cut sides down).
Then fry the leeks for 5 to 6 minutes until the bottom part starts to turn brown. Carefully turn the leeks onto their uncooked side. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Season with pepper again. Then pour in the pilsner beer.
Turn the heat up high until boiling. Then turn the heat down to a simmer and cover the pan. Let the leeks cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and then let the remaining juices evaporate. Now if your pan is fit to put in the oven, just leave the leeks inside. If not, carefully transfer the leeks to a large baking dish. Then sprinkle with the cheese and panko. Season with some pepper and salt.
Bake the leeks under a preheated grill for 3 to 4 minutes until the cheese has melted and the panko starts to turn brown. Then remove the leeks au gratin and let it cool for 2 minutes. Serve.