POST UPDATE: I was amazed, a few months after writing this post, to win the British Leek Growers Association 2016 competition: ‘Love My Leeks’ Recipe! I used the £500 prize to buy a decent camera so that I can take better pictures for the blog. Thank you very much British Leeks!
The leeks were planted back in April, part of the second delivery of the Constant Garden plug plants from Rocket Gardens. They have been slowly growing since then, without any fuss, without any demand for attention, and have been patiently waiting for me to select them for a meal.
Well, today the weather turned from very mild to almost freezing and, after a few hours gardening in the biting cold, the leeks eventually caught my eye. With their trailing blue-green tresses, they seemed to lean forward and whisper… ‘hot soup…hot sooouup’.
Mesmerised, I dug a couple out, carefully hosed them down to remove any soil without trapping any in the leaves, and couldn’t help but admire them. Don’t they scrub up well?
Once inside, discovering that I had a local beef sirloin steak in the fridge and an open bottle of red wine that needed using up (don’t they always?), I decided against an ordinary soup and did this instead:
Laconic* Leeks in red wine (with beef and potatoes)
- Put some potatoes on to cook (I steam them, with just a little water in the bottom of a lidded pan). These are my 1st earlies ‘Arrow’ variety, which still taste amazing.
- Meanwhile, heat a good tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, add the chopped leeks and simmer until they start to go a little brown at the edges. Add some vegetable stock (I stirred in a heaped teaspoon of Bouillon powder, with a little water to dissolve it). Add a large glass of red wine, and simmer down for 10 minutes, or until the leeks are cooked. Stir in some freshly chopped herbs (parsley and thyme, in my case) and keep somewhere warm.
- Wipe the pan clean, and reheat. Dab the steak dry, brush both sides with olive oil, and add to the hot, dry pan. Cook for about 4 minutes each side for a large steak. Remove and leave to stand for a couple of minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the drained potatoes to the pan, sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper, and toss them around in the lovely steak juices.
- Serve it all up on hot plates.
*Why “Laconic”? A recipe of few words!
Now is the season for British leeks in the shops! Visit www.britishleeks.co.uk for other ideas 🙂
Can you recommend any leek recipes you’ve tried?