Pic of Swede, leek and bacon gratin

Swede, leek and bacon gratin

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Meat mains

Swede, leek and bacon gratin

Side Serves 4 1h 40 min
A delicious and indulgent way to enjoy the glorious swede, the leeks could easily be replaced with boiled greens such as cabbage or kale. Leave out the bacon and it makes a flavoursome vegetarian main course.

Cook's notes

Try topping the gratin with a hard grating cheese such as Parmesan, Cheddar, pecorino or Gruyère and return to the oven for the last 10 minutes.


  • 100ml milk
  • 500ml double cream
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large rosemary or thyme sprig
  • 150g smoked streaky bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1–2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 leeks, white and pale green parts cut in rings
  • knob of butter (about 30g), plus extra to grease the gratin dish
  • 1 swede, peeled and sliced paper thin (use a mandolin if you have one)
  • salt and black pepper
Image of Swede, leek and bacon gratin


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 1h 30 min
  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 170°C/Gas 3.
  • Step 2

    Put the milk, cream, garlic and rosemary or thyme in a pan over a low–medium heat. Slowly bring to a boil and then gently simmer for 5 minutes, being careful not to let it boil over. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
  • Step 3

    Fry the bacon in the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat until really crispy.
  • Step 4

    Add the leeks and a knob of butter and cook on a low heat for 20–30 minutes, until the leeks are soft and just beginning to caramelise. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Step 5

    Arrange half the sliced swede on the bottom of a greased gratin or shallow ovenproof dish and season. Add the sautéed leeks and then top with the remaining swede and season again. Press the layers down with the back of a spoon.
  • Step 6

    Using a sieve, strain over the infused milk and cream mixture and cover the dish with foil.
  • Step 7

    Bake in the oven for about 1 hour, until a blunt knife can be easily inserted through to the bottom.
  • Step 8

    Uncover and bake for 15 minutes until the gratin is golden around the edges. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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