Kevin Dundon gives step by step advice on how to make the perfect baby leek gratin with smoked gubbeen


  • 1 kg (2lb 4oz) baby leeks
  • 25 g (2 tbsp) butter
  • 2 tblsp plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 300 ml (1. cups) milk
  • 100 g (3.oz) smoked gubbeen cheese (or use a semi-soft cow’s cheese)
  • salt and black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400oF/gas mark 6.
  • Bring to the boil a large saucepan of salted water. Add the leeks and blanch for 3–6 minutes until tender. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, drain thoroughly and put the leeks into an ovenproof dish. Reserve 200ml (1 cup) of the leek cooking liquid.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the bechamel sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat and add the flour. Cook the flour for about 2 minutes until light golden colour. Pour over the milk and reserved leek cooking liquid water and whisk vigorously to combine the flour smoothly.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 8–10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cheese.
  • Pour the sauce over the leeks and season with salt and black pepper. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 5 minutes until caramelized