• 300g shredded British free-range ham hock or use shredded cooked ham
  • 25g Cuddys Cave Cheese, grated
  • 800g floury potatoes
  • 100g unsalted butter, plus extra if needed
  • 6 leeks, cut into thirds
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ whole nutmeg, grated
  • 50g plain flour or GF plain flour
  • 500ml good quality fresh chicken stock
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salad leaves, broccoli stems or asparagus

Doddington’s Cuddy’s Cave, Leek & Ham Hock Gratin Recipe

  1. Melt 50g of your butter in a large sauté pan and add the leeks to this. Cook the leeks over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes, turning over from time to time, until the leeks are lightly browned and golden. Remove the leeks from the pan and put them on one side.
  2. Heat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6.
  3. Add the garlic to the left over butter in the pan and cook gently for a few minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add the grated nutmeg and then stir the flour in with them.
  5. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring all the time, for 2-3 minutes – you want a mixture that is thick and pasty.
  6. Gradually, slowly add in the chicken stock, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken up fast, then slowly thin out.  You want to get it so that it always stay thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it gets too thin, stop adding chicken stock and let it reduce for a minute.
  7. When you’ve added all the chicken stock, add the milk in just the same way. You can add the milk a little faster. This should give you a glossy sauce which about the same consistency as double cream.
  8. Next add your bay leaves and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Pop the leeks into a 1.5 litre ovenproof gratin dish and scatter the ham over the top.
  10. Pour your sauce over the top and sprinkle on the the Cuddys Cave Cheese.
  11. Have a little taste now and season with salt and pepper to suit.
  12. Melt the rest of the butter in a pan and set to one side.
  13. Peel your potatoes and grate them coarsely.
  14. Put the grated potato in the centre of a double layer of muslin, gather the muslin up around the potato and squeeze it firmly to remove all excess water.  NB:  Once you’ve grated the potato, be sure to plough straight on, don’t let it wait or your potatoes will start to oxidise and turn brown.
  15. Now tip the potatoes into a bowl, pour over the set aside melted butter with a pinch of sea salt, and mix it all up with your hands.
  16. Scatter this mixture over the top of the leeks, sauce and cheese mixture then roast in the oven for 50 minutes.
  17. If your rösti topping begins to brown unevenly, melt a bit more butter and brush it over.
  18. After 50 minutes, when it is golden and bubbling, remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes, then serve with salad leaves, broccoli stems or asparagus.

Thank you to Sue Todd Photography for creating and photographing the recipe.