Braised Leeks

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 large leeks
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups stock

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel any bruised outer layers from leeks. Trim roots, leaving root end intact. Trim off tops on diagonal, leaving two inches of green. Cut in half lengthwise. Clean very well in water to remove internal grit. Pat dry with towel.
  3. With cut sides up, season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Heat pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup oil and wait 1 minute. Place leeks, cut side down, in pan without crowding them. Make in two batches and use more oil, if necessary. Sear the leeks 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and turn over to cook 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer them, cut side up, to a gratin dish.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup oil into pan and heat over medium heat. Add shallots, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, until just beginning to color. Add wine and reduce by half. Add 1 1/2 cups stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour over leeks, without quite covering them.
  6. Braise in oven 30 minutes, until tender.

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