- A splash of olive oil
- 1 large onion and/or leek
- 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 500g root vegetables, finely sliced
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- A pinch of ground cloves or a handful of thyme leaves
- 1 mug of double or luxury pouring cream
- 2 mug of stock or water
- A handful of oats
- 1 mug of breadcrumbs
- A handful of nuts (chestnuts, if you have some), chopped
- A nugget of butter
- A handful of grated cheese
- 2 rashers of smoky bacon (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 190 °/Gas 5.
2. Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a good splash of oil. If you’re using it, add bacon now. Add the onion or leek. Fry till the bacon starts to crisp and the onions are soft.
3. Stir in the garlic. Add the sliced root veggies (swede, celeriac and other big roots need to be peeled and cut into more manageable pieces before slicing). Season well.
4. Add cloves, if using. Gently fry for a few mins, just to soften them.
5. Stir in the cream and stock/water. Simmer for 10-15 mins, till the veg softens.
6. Taste. Adjust seasoning, as needed. If you’re using thyme not cloves, add it now. Tumble everything from the pan into a baking dish.
7. Mix topping ingredients (A handful of oats; 1 mug of breadcrumbs; handful of nuts (chestnuts, if you have some), chopped; nugget of butter; handful of grated cheese
8. Scatter over and bake till the top is crisp and golden, about 30 mins.