Mary Berry Leek And Potato Gratin Recipe

Mary Berry Leek And Potato Gratin Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 55 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 15 Mins

Mary Berry Leek and Potato Gratin is a comforting and hearty dish that combines tender slices of potato and sautéed leeks with a rich, creamy cheese sauce. Topped with a golden, crispy cheese crust, this gratin is a delightful blend of flavors and textures, perfect for those seeking a satisfying side or main course. The subtle sweetness of leeks complements the earthiness of the potatoes, all brought together in a dish that’s both rustic and refined.

In this article, I’ll walk you through Mary Berry’s Leek and Potato Gratin recipe, offering tips to achieve the perfect creamy consistency and a beautifully browned top.

Let’s get started!

What is Mary Berry Leek And Potato Gratin Recipe?

Mary Berry Leek And Potato Gratin is a delicious and easy side dish that consists of thinly sliced potatoes and leeks, layered in a baking dish and covered with cheese and cream. It’s a classic French dish that is baked until golden and bubbly, and it goes well with any main course.

This gratin serves 4-6 people and is easy to make, perfect for a family dinner or as a side dish for special occasions.

Leek And Potato Gratin Recipe Mary Berry

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Why You Love this Recipe

This gratin is a culinary hug, combining simple preparation with a comforting, rich taste that’s perfect for any occasion.

Here’s why it will become a favorite in your recipe collection:

  • Effortless Elegance: Minimal ingredients and straightforward steps lead to an elegantly satisfying dish.
  • Indulgent Textures: Enjoy the creamy layers and golden, cheesy crust in every bite.
  • Comfort in a Dish: Ideal for chilly days, its warmth is as welcoming as a cozy blanket.
  • Culinary Canvas: Easily adaptable, it allows for personal touches and flavor exploration.
  • Universal Appeal: Loved for its classic potato and cheese combination, it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Leek And Potato Gratin

To make Mary Berry’s leek and potato gratin, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 kg (2.2 lb) of potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 large leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 50 g (1.8 oz) of butter
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) of chicken stock
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) of double cream
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) of grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Useful Equipment

You’ll also need the following equipment to make this recipe:

  • A large saucepan
  • A colander
  • A large frying pan
  • A wooden spoon
  • A 2-litre (3.5-pint) ovenproof dish
  • A sharp knife
  • A mandoline or a food processor (optional)
  • A cheese grater
  • A measuring jug
  • A measuring spoon
  • An oven
  • A baking sheet
  • A spatula
  • A cutting board
  • A kitchen towel

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Leek And Potato Gratin

Follow these instructions to make Mary Berry’s leek and potato gratin:

Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the potatoes

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan, gas mark 6) and lightly grease the ovenproof dish with some butter.
  • Cut the potatoes into thin slices, about 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick. You can use a sharp knife, a mandoline, or a food processor to do this. Try to make the slices as even as possible, so they cook evenly.
  • Rinse the potato slices under cold water and drain them well. Pat them dry with a kitchen towel and set them aside.

Step 2: Cook the leeks

  • Cut the leeks into thin slices, about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick. Rinse them well under cold water and drain them well. Pat them dry with a kitchen towel and set them aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until they are soft and lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3: Layer the potatoes and leeks

  • Arrange a layer of potato slices on the bottom of the prepared dish, slightly overlapping them. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over them.
  • Spoon half of the leek mixture over the potatoes, spreading it evenly.
  • Repeat with another layer of potatoes, salt, pepper, and the remaining leek mixture.
  • Finish with a final layer of potatoes, salt, and pepper.

Step 4: Pour the stock and cream

  • In a measuring jug, combine the chicken stock and the double cream. Stir well and pour the mixture over the potato and leek layers, making sure to cover them completely.
  • Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top, covering the whole surface.

Step 5: Bake the gratin

  • Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and golden, and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with some chopped parsley if desired, and enjoy!
Mary Berry Leek And Potato Gratin Recipe
Mary Berry Leek And Potato Gratin

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Leek And Potato Gratin?

This versatile gratin complements a variety of dishes, enhancing your meal with its creamy texture and rich flavor.

Here are some perfect pairings:

  • Meaty Companions: Enhance with roast beef or lamb and rich gravy.
  • Poultry Perfection: Ideal alongside roast chicken or turkey with festive accompaniments.
  • Seafood Harmony: Pair with baked salmon or cod for a lighter, yet flavorful meal.
  • Vegetable Medley: Add color and crunch with a selection of roasted vegetables.
  • Bread Basket: Complete the meal with a choice of fresh, crusty breads for dipping.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Leek And Potato Gratin

Elevate your cooking with these professional tips and witness your Leek and Potato Gratin transform into an irresistible dish:

  • Choose the Right Potatoes: Waxy varieties like Yukon Gold or Charlotte maintain texture and don’t crumble.
  • Uniform Slicing: Ensure potatoes and leeks are thinly and evenly sliced for consistent cooking.
  • Rinse and Dry: Removing starch and moisture from slices ensures a crispier top layer.
  • Season Well: Layer with salt and pepper to infuse every bite with flavor.
  • Select Quality Cheese: Opt for mature cheeses for a deeper flavor and smoother melt.
  • Cover Initially: Foil cover prevents premature browning and ensures even cooking.
  • Rest Before Serving: Letting it sit allows the dish to thicken and flavors to marry.

Variations of Mary Berry Leek And Potato Gratin

Infuse your gratin with a personal touch by experimenting with these flavorful variations:

  • Garlic and Nutmeg: Add a dash for a warm, aromatic lift.
  • Thyme and Rosemary: Infuse with these herbs for a rustic, earthy taste.
  • Breadcrumbs and Bacon Bits: Sprinkle on top for a delightful crunch and smoky flavor.
  • Chopped Nuts and Dried Cranberries: For a unique, sweet, and nutty finish.
  • Spinach and Mushrooms: Incorporate these for an extra layer of savory goodness.

How do I store Mary Berry Leek And Potato Gratin Leftovers?

If you have any leftovers of this dish, you can store them in the fridge or freezer, by following these steps:

Fridge

  • Let the dish cool completely at room temperature.
  • Transfer the leftovers to an airtight container or a ziplock bag.
  • Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Freezer

  • Let the dish cool completely at room temperature.
  • Cut the leftovers into individual portions and wrap them tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  • Place the wrapped portions in a freezer-safe container or a ziplock bag.
  • Label and date the container or bag.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Leek And Potato Gratin Leftovers?

To reheat this dish, you can use the oven or the microwave, following these steps:

Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4).
  • Thaw the frozen leftovers overnight in the fridge, or at room temperature for an hour.
  • Place the leftovers in an ovenproof dish and cover with foil.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until heated through and crisp on top.

Microwave

  • Thaw the frozen leftovers overnight in the fridge, or at room temperature for an hour.
  • Place the leftovers in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a damp paper towel.
  • Microwave for 5 to 10 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly, stirring halfway.

Nutrition value per serving (based on 6 servings):

  • Calories: 486 kcal
  • Fat: 28 g
  • Saturated fat: 17 g
  • Carbohydrate: 40 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 21 g
  • Sodium: 1.95 mg

FAQs

Can I make Mary Berry’s Leek and Potato Gratin ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare this gratin ahead of time. Assemble the dish without baking and cover it with foil or plastic wrap, then refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, bake it as directed, adding an extra 5-10 minutes to the cooking time since it will be starting from a colder temperature. It’s a great way to manage time for dinner parties or busy weekdays.

How do I make the potatoes and leeks thin and even?

You can use a sharp knife, a mandoline, or a food processor to slice the potatoes and leeks. Try to make them about 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick for the potatoes and 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick for the leeks. Rinse and dry them well before layering them in the dish.

How do I prevent the cheese from burning?

You can cover the dish with foil for the first 15 minutes of baking, then remove the foil and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly. You can also use a cheese that melts well and doesn’t brown too quickly, such as cheddar, gruyere, or parmesan.

Can I add other vegetables or proteins to the gratin?

Absolutely! While the classic leek and potato gratin is delightful on its own, it’s also versatile. Consider adding slices of carrot for sweetness or zucchini for a lighter touch. For proteins, cooked, crumbled bacon or diced ham can be added between layers for a savory twist. Just make sure to cook and season any additional ingredients before layering them into the gratin.

How do I make the gratin more creamy or less runny?

The amount of liquid in the gratin depends on the type and size of the potatoes, the amount of cream and stock, and the baking time and temperature. To make the gratin more creamy, you can use waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, Charlotte, or Desiree, as they hold their shape better and don’t release too much starch. You can also reduce the amount of stock and increase the amount of cream, or bake the gratin for longer until the sauce thickens. To make the gratin less runny, you can use starchy potatoes, such as Maris Piper, Rooster, or King Edward, as they absorb more liquid and make the sauce thicker. You can also increase the amount of stock and reduce the amount of cream, or bake the gratin for shorter until the potatoes are tender.

What can I substitute for cream in the gratin to make it lighter?

If you’re looking to lighten up the dish, you can substitute the double cream with a lighter version like single cream or half-and-half. For a non-dairy alternative, unsweetened almond milk or oat cream can work, though the gratin might be less rich. Adjust thickness and seasoning as these substitutes might alter the consistency and flavor slightly.

Final Words

Mary Berry’s leek and potato gratin is a simple and satisfying dish that you can make for any occasion. It’s creamy, cheesy, and full of flavor, and it will impress your family and friends. Try it today and let me know what you think!

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