Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pancetta-Wrapped Leek Gratin – Simply Amazing

I’m all about simply prepared vegetables, but every once in a while I need to cover them in caramelized pork and cheese, and this stunningly delicious pancetta-wrapped leek gratin was one of those times. I love those times.

This “umami bomb” is so flavorful and satisfying, it almost seems disrespectful to serve it as a side dish. Pair this with a slice of buttered bread, hedge your bets with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and enjoy a truly special lunch.

For extra credit, after you finish your meal, call your best French friend and describe what you had. They will love and hate you for it. So, whether you make this for lunch, or use it to upstage a steak or grilled piece of salmon, I hope you give this great leek gratin a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 portions:
3 large leeks
about 4 oz pancetta
2 tsp olive oil
salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup drinkable white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese as needed
chives to garnish

29 comments:

Roberto said...

I'm going to the local outdoor mercato in a few minutes and I just added leeks to my shopping list. You are the geek of your leek, or as we say here in Italy, you are the toro of your poro.

Adam Reynolds said...

"A fork is just not going to cut it." Loving the double entendres in this one. Looks delicious as well. Thanks CJ.

Kia Dufun said...

I have to say it : that looooooks soooo gooooood! Because of the bacon, my boyfriend is going to like this, and because of the cheese, my daughter is gonna love this and because it is a vegetable, I'm going to loooooove this too!!

But, if I may, Chef John, my best blogger ever, as a french canadian, this is my 2-cents with the pronounciation of "gratin". See, it's more like gratin than graton : like if you say stainless but you don't say the "s" nor the "less", you're going to be left with a perfect "tain" for gratin! Even more so if you tone down the "n" sound at the end. VoilĂ ! Merci beaucoup for your recipe.

Locomotive_breath said...

Chef

Whats the best vegetarian alternative for pancetta or bacon? This looks delicious and I want to make it without dead animals :).

Thank.

Chef John said...

There is no such thing as a sub for pancetta or bacon!

PhillyBear said...

boy, that's a beauty, chef. Can't wait to try it!

Darcy Thomas said...

Way to take "du fun" out of it all Ms. Kia Pronunciation Police. Keep up the great work Chef John.

Alex G said...

Why don't you use the leafy green part? And surely you don't just toss that away? Surely that part can be used for something else... Oh and sorry to call you Shirley

Alex G said...

Why do you not use the leafy green part? Surely these are not just tossed away, surely there is another use for them?... Oh, sorry to call you Shirley

Ed Adams said...

Making this tonight, can't wait. I hope I pronounced all this correctly :)

Natalie said...

this dish was delish! even my kids , who hate vegetables loved it!

Natalie said...

this dish was delish! even my kids , who hate vegetables loved it!

Joshua Miller said...

Chef, my local supermarket only had cubed pancetta. My plan is to sprinkle the pancetta on top of the cut side down leeks... Am I breaking too many rules or will this accomplish the same thing as your original recipe? The cubes are about the size of a pencil eraser.

Chef John said...

That will work! Enjoy!

Roberto said...

I suspect many people will give this recipe a pass because leeks are a bit odd as far as some folks are concerned. DON'T DO IT. I made this the other night and it's fantastic; something about the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. My wife was prepared not to like it, but she loved it. Highly recommended.

Joshua Miller said...

Came out great! Another great meal from food wishes. Only think I failed at was remembering to get a loaf of great bread to soup up the tasty sauce. Next time.

EijaK said...

I love your programs. I would like so much that there would be also wrtten instructions in your recipes

Sandra from Montreal said...

AH-MAZING!! What a great recipe (and extremely entertaining presentation). Made this the other day and everyone LOVED it!

Barbara said...

Just made this. Mmmmmmmmm! Finally a way to highlight delicious leeks in a meal!

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Greetings Chef, I'll be sure to give pancetta another try sometime. For ya' see, I once thought pancetta to be but fancy Italian baloney to be served up as is in a sandwich. And yes, it was gawd awful.

But in any event I ain't like that no more. I ain't the same, Chef. My finicky lady-friend,lord bless her heart, done straightened me up, cleared me of my drinkin' rum and all. I think about that sandwich now and again. That pancetta didn't do anything to deserve getting unceremoniously dumped into the trash, at least nothin' I could remember when I sobered up. Thanks Chef! You're da' best!

Jeremy Hale said...

I've never prepared leeks before this, but I have to say, this was flippin' delicious. I'm all about steak, chicken, ribs, pulled pork.. but this may be my favorite recipe from the site so far.

One question - I would like the sauce a touch thicker. What would be the ideal way of doing this? A little flour/butter? Maybe a little cornstarch?

Thanks CJ

Chef John said...

Yes, make a roux and use a bechamel instead. Thanks!

starblueloser said...

Chef John! My fiance and I regularly make your recipes and we absoltely love them. This one was so amazing we just had to let you know. Thank you for doing what you do, sir.

Chef John said...

Thanks!

Wren said...

I had never had leeks before, and that bothered me, so I decided to try this recipe. Delicious. The cayenne makes it. Yum. Thank you Chef John.

Peter Sices said...

Was so good, making it again. Best "cooking show" remark ever: "cheap fake crap" hahahaha

Rebecca Gross said...

We brought this to a 4th of July dinner party last night. It was a big hit! It paired beautifully with rib eye!

Rebecca Gross said...

We brought this to a 4th of July dinner party last night. It was a big hit! It paired beautifully with rib eye!

Christine Peart said...

Thanks for another winning recipe chef!
No wine, but it was delicious! :-)