Creamed Leeks with Bacon & Thyme Recipe

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
  • 4 medium leeks, trimmed, washed, and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (or your favorite strong cheese)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Equipment

  • Large skillet or Dutch oven
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife

Instructions

  • Prepare the leeks: Wash the leeks thoroughly to remove any grit. Remove the dark green parts and the roots. Thinly slice the white and light green portions of the leeks.
  • Cook the bacon: Place the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced bacon and cook until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Sauté the leeks: Keep some of the rendered bacon fat in the pan, adding a tablespoon of olive oil if needed. Add the sliced leeks to the pan and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Deglaze and create the sauce: Add the white wine to the pan with the leeks, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for a minute or two until the wine is reduced by half. Then, stir in the heavy cream and fresh thyme leaves. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer.
  • Thicken the sauce: Reduce heat and allow the sauce to simmer for about 8-10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Finish the dish: Stir in the cooked bacon and half of the grated cheese. Simmer for another minute to melt the cheese.
  • Serve and enjoy: Serve immediately, garnishing with the remaining grated cheese and extra thyme if desired. Pair this dish with grilled chicken, pan-seared fish, or a crusty loaf of bread.

Tips

  • If you prefer, you can substitute the bacon with pancetta or omit it for a vegetarian version.
  • Substitute the heavy cream with half-and-half for a slightly lighter sauce.
  • Experiment with different cheeses. Parmesan or Gruyère would work beautifully as well.
  • Creamed leeks make a fantastic side dish but can also be served over pasta for a more substantial meal.

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