This is a Winter Dish, but if you live in the Land of Eternal November, who cares?
- fresh leeks
- French or French-style slices of ham, as many as you’ve got leeks
- Salted butter
- Pepper (freshly-ground or not)
- A steamer
- An oven-proof dish
Look at your leeks: if the outer leaves do not look fresh or look too tough, remove them. They can be kept if you make your own vegetable broth or fed to the brandlings in the compost heap.
Take the pointy end of a sharp knife (most sharp instruments will do: a kriss, a Sgian-dubh, a Fairbairn Sykes fighting knife, a stiletto or jewelled dagger ..) and insert it into the body of the leek, towards the bottom bit. Slice the leek lengthwise and repeat the procedure on the other side of the leek (ask all snowflakes and vegans to leave the room as this might be a traumatising experience for the poor wee things): this will allow you to thoroughly remove all dirt.
Wask the leeks. Put in steamer and cook until tender. Allow it to stand so that the leeks may dry a bit (but not too much)
Take your oven dish (mine’s a Pyrex dish, probably purchased at Woolworth’s), grease it.
Take one slice of ham and put one leek inside. Put one knob of butter on top. Don’t stint on the butter, you want some sauce.
Shuggle some pepper on top, or grind some if your peppermill still works.
Repeat for all your leeks
Shove into the hot oven (1800C.)
Leave the kitchen to do something meaningful like staring at the shape of the clouds outside the windows, listen to the newest Rammstein or post innuendos on Going Postal. After 15 minutes, return to the kitchen, open the oven and using a long-handled spoon, baste the leeks with the watery butter sauce…
Give it another 10 minutes…But check on a regular basis, as you do not want to burn the ham or the butter. Once on the edge of crispy, remove from the oven and devour.
That’s it, enjoy..
In English: nom, nom, nom
In French: miam, miam, miam (this is to impress your house guests who think all pro-Brexit voters are strictly uni-lingual and uni-brow cavemen people, in which case, what are they doing in your dining-room?)
PS: do not add salt, there’s salt in the leeks, the ham and the butter
PPS: although the butter appears burnt in the photo, it wasn’t in reality and I ate it all, scrubbed the dish clean with a spoon.
PPPS: the same dish can be made with chicory.
© text & images Aisotrcbifst 2023