The combination of potatoes and sweet pears is just magical in this dish. Add tender leeks and the grounding force of bay leaves and you’d have to say this is a stunningly comforting dish.
1 leek, halved and chopped into 2cm lengths
1 tablespoon butter
2-3 medium potatoes (I use Agria), sliced thinly
2 pears, sliced lengthwise
1 cup vege or chicken stock
1⁄4-1⁄2 cup milk or cream
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
Decent grind black pepper
2-3 bay leaves
1. Heat oven to 180°C.
2. Place leeks and butter in an ovenproof dish and bang it in the oven so the leeks get a head start on cooking, while you slice the potatoes and pears.
3. Layer the potatoes and pears into the dish, seasoning in between layers with salt and pepper. Mix stock, milk or cream, and mustard and pour over to come half-way up the vegetables. Tuck the bay leaves into the potatoes/pears. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and cook for a further 20 minutes until golden on top and cooked through.
4. Serve generous spoonfuls, either on its own or as a side dish.
To lighten this dish, replace the milk or cream with stock. If you’d like to enrich it, add some chopped bacon.