Melting leeks with roast ham and cheddar

For a great warming dish try Merrilees Parker's simple and tasty leek and ham bake with a mustard-flavoured topping
By Merrilees Parker
Melting leeks with roast ham and cheddar
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 50 g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 450 g slender leeks, sliced into chunks on the angle
  • black pepper
  • 350 g hand-carved ham, torn into chunky lengths
  • 200 g mature cheddar cheese
  • 6 tbsp double cream
  • 2 tsp English mustard
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • crusty bread, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

2. Rinse the leeks well, and drain, taking care not to drain them thoroughly as you want a little of the water to cook them in.

3. Melt the butter in a heavy-based lidded frying pan. Add the leeks and season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir really well, cover and cook over maximum heat for two minutes.

4. Stir well, and cover again, giving the pan a good shake. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Drain well.

5. Scatter a third of the leek mixture in an even layer in the bottom of a buttered ovenproof dish, around 25cm in diameter.

6. Sprinkle half the ham on top and then add another third of the leeks. Repeat until leeks and ham are used up, finishing with a layer of leeks.

7. Place the Cheddar in a bowl and fold in the cream and mustard, then season with the white pepper.

8. Spread the Cheddar mixture over the cabbage in an even layer and bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.

9. Serve at once with crusty bread.

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