Farmhouse Cheese, Leek and Smoked Ham Bake

Serves 4

4 medium leeks, trimmed and washed
4 large slices of smoked ham
85g/3oz butter
55g/2oz plain flour
600ml/1pt milk
115g/4oz farmhouse cheddar for example Knockanore Cheese, finely grated
A little extra grated cheese for the topping
5ml/1tsp Strong Irish Mustard
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Cooking time:
45 minutes


Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6, 200ºC (400ºF).

Lightly poach the leeks until tender. Remove the leeks from the pan, reserve the liquid. Cut each leek and each slice of ham into two pieces. Wrap each piece of leek with ham and place in an oven proof dish.

Meanwhile make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for two minutes. Gradually add the milk, stirring continuously, add 100ml/3.5fl oz of the reserved leek liquid. Cook for a further 5 minutes, then add the cheese, the mustard and half the parsley, stir and remove from heat. Spoon the sauce over the leeks and ham and sprinkle with a little extra grated cheese.

Cook at 200c/400f/gas mark 6 for 15 minutes. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

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