Recipe by Chef John
"I'm all about simply prepared vegetables, but every once in a while I need to cover them in caramelized pork and cheese, and this stunningly delicious pancetta-wrapped leek gratin was one of those times. I love those times."
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leeks, ends trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
pancetta, thinly sliced, or more as needed
salt and ground black pepper to taste
cayenne, or to taste
heavy whipping cream
grated Parmesan cheese
chopped fresh chives
Easy. Delicious. Decadent.
First, I should mention that I hate to cook. The general consensus is that I'm also a terrible cook, so I almost never do it. My friends actually encourage me to bring the paper products and the potato chips to pot luck meals. (It is an unspoken and widely felt, "Please don't bring anything that you cooked.")
I tell you all of this, so you'll know that *I mean it* when I say that this dish is easy and delicious. It is worth the scant amount of effort required, and it is fool-proof. (The hardest part is paying for the leeks at my local grocer, Whole Paycheck.) This recipe is so good and so easy that I'm tempted to take it to the next pot-luck, so I can bask in the compliments that I am sure to receive.
We ate this with Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken [recipe from this site, plus added chicken broth to the basting juice per the advice of a helpful reviewer] and Barley cooked in Chicken Broth. The citrus in the chicken worked well with this rich leek dish.
Watch the video: it will help! Chef John's videos are fun to watch, and he has lots of great advice.
This recipe did not work well for me. The leeks turned out stringy and difficult to eat. I will purée the leftovers to use as a soup base. I probably won't try thi recipe again.
I made these twice and both times they turn out awesome. And yes a nice piece or two of bread a glass of the wine you cooked with and everyone was in heaven. The secret is the quality of the ingredients. If you don't drink the white wine then don't cook with it. Use more stock instead of cheap bitter tasting wine. As for the left overs I used them on a own made pizza, little olive oil some garlic, the leeks spread around in byte size nuggets bit of cheese oh so delicious.
Chef John, as a complete freak of leeks this is a WONDERFUL recipe! The way it's made and the way it turns out is spectacular. It is the kind of dish you sit back after each bite and savor the richness (not heavy) and the complex tastes. The Pancetta is so incredibly awesome. Wow! A few of these and a glass of wine and some smooth jazz and you have yourself a high-end restaurant night at home.
So good, so simple, so completely delicious!!!
A leek is a fibrous vegetable. This recipe is five star all the way! I halved the recipe and that was my supper last night. I shamelessly ate every single bite and used some French bread to wipe my plate clean. I could have gotten away without having to put it in the dishwasher, it was that good!
Simply delicious..... first time eating leeks and my whole family love it!!!
So very good! Made this as a side for an early Father's Day lunch. It was a huge hit. None of them had ever eaten a leek before but after the first bite, went back for more. I made as directed with just a few changes. Used prosciutto (store didn't have any pancetta), used the parmesan in the green can (don't particularly care for parmigiano-reggiano) and 1 cup of broth instead of 1/4 cup by mistake. Even with the subs and extra liquid, it turned out great. It's a keeper. Thanks Chef John!!!
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Pancetta-Wrapped Leek Gratin
Serving Size: 1/6 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 145
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