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My husband didn’t know he liked leeks until I made this, the dish was devoured by everyone. Incredibly delicious! My only problem was that it was hard to cut the leeks because they were so soft, so it was a little bit sloppy to eat with guests.
When you say 4-6 leeks, how big are they? The ones I get in the Netherlands are quite large (the white shanks about 25 cm, with 5-6 cm in diameter) but I know there are also much smaller ones… Could you convert those 4-6 leeks into grams for me please :) would make it so much easier. Thanks!
Sorry, I don’t really know grams so I can’t help you there. But I would say 4-6 medium-sized leeks. If you have the really large ones, use four, if they are narrow and small, use six. It’s not an exact thing. ~Hank
Just want to chime in with Christina and The Good Soup about leek tops. Here’s what I wrote on my Facebook page when sharing your braised leeks recipe:
Delectable–but do save the dark green tops as well. Wash thoroughly, cut into very thin strips, saute in oil or butter until soft, and use as decorative garnish on pasta, soups, bean dishes, baked potatoes, cauliflower, stews, cottage cheese, fondue…. You’ll find it looks lovely and tastes yummy.
Made this tonight for my husband and I. It was AMAZING! The funny thing is I forgot to reduce the liquid but my husband has now requested we grow leeks this summer! By the way he is in heaven because I am making things from this blog almost every night a week. With the exception of having to use up the leftovers since it is us two :)
Yes, the green ends of leeks do have a bad reputation, don’t they? They wouldn’t be any good braised, because, if kept unsliced, they remain quite stringy even after long cooking. But when sliced finely, the greens have a faintly oniony, sweet spring flavour. I often slice them finely into rings and then sweat them down for the base of a risotto or soup.
It’s quite difficult to get long white stems when growing leeks at home or organically. I know it’s a matter of blanching, but commercial blanching must be a very thorough process! Also, it’s worth growing them, or finding an organic source, as they are a high chemical dependent crop when grown conventionally.
Thanks for all the great recipes! I just have one question: how short of a shank is too short to work with? My produce department isn’t the best, but this sounds delicious :)
I wouldn’t make this with leeks that had less than 2-3 inches of white on the shank. ~Hank
In step 4, should we remove the leeks before reducing the braising liquid? Seems like we should, but want to make sure.
You can remove them if you want, but i don’t. I like the reduced sauce to caramelize a bit on the leeks. ~Hank
This sounds delicious, but I must protest: the green part is good for so much more than stock! I *always* keep chopped leek (white and green parts together) in my freezer, and use it in place of onion when I don’t feel like dealing with an onion. Just take a handful and put it into the pan frozen and sauté just like you would onion, and then proceed with whatever you’re cooking as usual. It’s a lovely flavour and, together with the jarred purréed tomato I have on hand, makes throwing together weeknight recipes a cinch – I don’t even have to dirty a cutting board many days!
So, if you do make this recipe with the white part, you can keep the greens for lots of uses, not just stock!
(By the way, this trick also works for parsley, with the exception that you don’t chop the parsley first: after rinsing it, put it into a *large* freezer bag with lots of air in it, let it freeze, then take it out the next day and crush it into small pieces. This is (a) easier, and (b) ensures that the parsley won’t turn black. :)