Winter has come on really hard. It is wet and windy and cold. It was already dark when I headed home from work this evening. It has been a trying day, and I needed something warming and cheery. Comforting. I remembered I had some leeks in the crisper bin. At first I was going to make leek and potato soup, but I had a sudden urge to experiment and try something that, as far as I know, has not been done. That is – to make a potato topped pie, but put the potato on the bottom rather than on the top. When I started I was not sure whether I was going to be able to write this up as a success.
However, I think I may be onto something! The potato came out creamy and suffused with flavour. There are at least eight delicious serves in this dish, which means another week of monomenu. That makes me very happy when the experiment has turned out so well.
I think this would be an excellent vegetarian dish. The bacon and chicken can surely be omitted. One could even throw in some other vegetables, perhaps. But the cheese must be Gruyère or Emmental. That Swiss nutty flavour is heavenly in combination with leek. The house is filled with a delectable aroma.
Next time I may beat an egg yolk or two into the cream and see what happens.
Chicken, Bacon, Leek & Potato Pie
- 1 Tblsp butter
- 2 leeks, cleaned and sliced
- a few cloves of garlic, chopped
- salt as required
- a few grinds of black pepper
- 150 ml cream
- 150 g Gruyère cheese, grated, and a bit more put aside for on top.
- two or three rashers of bacon chopped
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into pieces
- 6 med potatoes, cooked and mashed (2-3 cups mashed potato)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
- Press the mashed potato into the bottom of a buttered oven proof dish
- Put the dish in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes while preparing the rest of the pie:
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan and fry the bacon until starting to crisp
- Add the chicken pieces and brown them.
- Stir in the leeks and garlic; cook until soft.
- Add salt and pepper. (check before adding salt in case the bacon has contributed enough)
- Lower the heat, stir in cream and cheese, and warm through
- Pour the mixture on top of the potato in the casserole
- Top with a little more grated cheese
- Bake 30 minutes, until set and golden on top.
- Stand 10 minutes before serving.