Hooray for Markies!

I wasn’t entirely honest in my last post.  The question that I claimed to be hypothetical was actually about my own experience.  Yes, I know you are shocked (I am, after all, a master of deception) but my motivation was not malicious.  I was embarrassed to have failed so miserably in my first attempt at cooking a large leg of meat.

My sincere thanks to all who gave me advice on how to salvage the ham.  I tried boiling it again with some potatoes to draw out the salt and when that didn’t work I submerged it in a vat of Coca Cola.  Unfortunately, that didn’t work either; it was a ridiculously salty joint.  Eventually, I admitted defeat, bagged/froze some of the salty meat for future minestrones and headed down town for an emergency replacement.   

God bless Marks and Spencers!

I am quite sure my family will also be praising Markies tomorrow night when they sit down to a dinner of roast pork and trimmings rather than just the trimmings.  Though I have to say, the side dishes I have planned aren’t too shabby!  In particular, Jamie Oliver’s leek dish should go down a treat.  

 Slow Roasted Leeks with Bacon

 (for 10 as a side)

12 medium leeks

Knob of butter

Olive oil

Palmful of thyme leaves

4 garlic cloves, chopped

Glass of white wine

200ml stock

8 rashers of streaky bacon

  • Remove tough outer leaves of the leeks and chop off each end.
  • Cut the green part of the leek off and chop finely.  Saute for 10 mins with the butter, a drizzle of olive oil, the garlic and thyme.
  • Meanwhile, cut the white part of the leeks into 2 inch long sections.
  • Add the sauted leeks to a buttered oven-proof dish and top with the white leek parts, preferably standing each white bit upright (that’s just aesthetics though).
  • Add the wine and stock then cover with the bacon.
  • Wrap tightly in tinfoil and cook in a 200oC oven for 1 hour.
  • Remove tinfoil and cook for a further 20 mins or until the bacon is crispy.
  • Serve with the bacon crumbled over the top.

Excuse my silence over the next week.  Myself and my family are all off to spend a week in a Perthshire cottage to celebrate my brother’s 40th and my 30th. 

Will tell you all about it next week.  :)

18 thoughts on “Hooray for Markies!

  1. What an easy and delicious way to prepare leeks. I love leeks and don’t use them as often as I would like. This recipe gives me reason to go buy some, thanks.

  2. Oh Wendy, look at that photo! Now that is magazine material!
    The leeks look lovely and I have just come into making many things with leeks. Such good flavor, texture and color. I am going to try your recipe this week!
    Do you make your own stock ????

  3. Wendy, sorry about the ham….. :( I have had one here before that was extra salty and it isn’t a failure on your part as a chef, I think that some just are extra salty. Hubby and I have cut way back on our salt so when things are salty like that we really notice it.
    Well done on the new recipe those leeks look really yummy!!!

  4. Julie – I think leeks can be overlooked as a dish in themselves. I love them!

    Deb – Thank you! I do make my own stock. Usually have vegetable and chicken stock in 500ml bags in the freezer. Not opposed to stockcubes sometimes though!

    Patricia – Lovely to see you back! :) If you’re ever in the UK around Christmas avoid Marks and Spencers food court. SO many people buy their festive nibbles there, the queues are Soviet style!

    Betty C – Thank you! Avoid the Italian Jamie Oliver book. It’s the only disappointing one.

    Pat – Thank you! I don’t take much salt on my food either. Got D to taste the ham to make sure I wasn’t being too sensitive. Even he (who loves salt) flinched.

  5. So sorry about the ham … LOVE the leeks … have a good time in Perth, try to see some Pictish art somewhere – it’s everywhere in that part of Scotland, as you probably know, and is extraordinarily beautiful, and amazing when representational. (Sorry, I seem to be an art teacher in my soul!)

    Joanna
    joannasfood.blogspot.com

  6. Sorry about the ham follies, but as always you saved the day with your ingenuity! Marks and Spencers is gone from Canada now. I was so sad to see it go. No more Potato Scones or English Pickled onions for me….

  7. Wendy, couldn’t find your email address. Am I just missing it? Anyway, the thingy about the the wheelbarrow and chickens…I know there’s a joke in there somewhere that you need to tell me? (cause I didn’t catch your drift) Don’t worry, I’m dense haha

  8. Wendy, what a drag about the ham! I can’t imagine how salty it must have been to retain its salinity after all that! These leeks look wonderful – I’ve been craving them lately. Have a great time in Perthshire and happy 30th again!

  9. Joanna – Didn’t get a chance to see any Pictish art this time but will certainly keep it in mind for my next trip. :)

    Valli – Potato scone… yum!

    Maryanne – My email address is wjharrison77 (at) aol (dot) com. Sorry for confusing you with the chicken thing. I was being very English teacher-y and alluding to William Carlos Williams poem! Here it is:

    so much depends
    upon

    a red wheel
    barrow

    glazed with rain
    water

    beside the white
    chickens.

    Amanda – Got a refund from the butcher and the Markies ham went down well so there was no tragedy! :)

    Carol – Thank you!

    Rose – And thank you kindly to you too! :)

    Susan – Hope you enjoy it. I was surprised at how well the leeks photographed. Rather proud of it. :)

    Cynthia – Thank you! The one in his book isn’t very interesting at all, I must say. Perhaps I’ll give him a call… ;)

  10. Nice story!! I think the leeks came out pretty well!! kudos to you:)

    I’m hosting AFAM-Peach event on my blog this month, and I’d be glad if you could send in an entry…check details on my blog…even canned epaches can be used, so pls see if you have some time to participate!:)

    -Mansi

    http://funnfud.blogspot.com

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