Potato and Leek Al Forno

Creamy potatoes and leeks topped with crunchy breadcrumbs and baked in the oven   A fantastic accompaniment to chops or as a less rich alternative to pommes dauphinois

i can guess though what a lot of you are going to think as you cast your eye down the list of ingredients.  Ugh! Anchovies! I’m not going to cook that or, if I do, I am going to leave those out!  Fine, leave them out if you are vegetarian, but if you aren’t give it a go   They add a lovely savoury Unami taste to the finished dish and melt into the sauce so well you won’t be able to indentify them as a specific taste or see them   If you are vegetarian I’d add a couple of teaspoons of nutritional yeast flakes or a teaspoon of marigold vegetable bouillon powder instead of the anchovies.


Potatoes, leeks and Anchovies

You can make the dish into a complete meal by adding grated cheese (such as cheddar or gruyere) to the breadcrumb topping.  I often make this dish as an accompaniment,  and without cheese, to chops – it doesn’t matter whether they be pork or lamb.I find that it really adds a lusciousness that sometimes chops need.  I cook the chops simply just with a little olive oil, chopped rosemary and lemon juice.  It also makes a great dish to serve along roast lamb – something to bear in mind if you are cooking that this Easter – as well as roast pork

You can make the dish up to the end of stage 7 the day before.  Just cover and refrigerate until you want to bake it and add an extra five minutes to the cooking time   Any leftovers can be made into soup by blending them with a little milk and stock to get to the right consistency (see end of post)

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 1kg potatoes, cut into 2cm slices
  • 250g leeks, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 50g anchovy fillets, in oil but drained and chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 400ml double cream
  • 40g breadcrumbs (I use panko)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat oven to 180c
  2. Put potato slices into boiling, salted water and simmer for 5 minutes
  3. Add leeks to the pan and simmer for a further 5 mins before draining
  4. Add sliced garlic and chopped anchovies to a tbsp olive oil in a large pan set over a medium heat
  5. When anchovy begins to “melt” add cream and gently simmer for 5 mins stirring from time to time so flavoured cream doesn’t catch
  6. Combine the potato and leeks with the cream mixture, season with a little salt and lots of black pepper to taste and turn into a baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle over breadcrumbs
  8. Bake in oven for 30 mins till breadcrumbs are brown and crispy and sauce is bubbling



Put any leftovers into a saucepan and heat in a mix of milk and stock before blending to make leek and potato soup   Exact quantities will depend on amount of al Forno left

Milk and stock added



Ready to blend

1 Comment

  1. Oh Yummm Rosie! I’ve made potatoes similar to this — but never with leeks. I think it would give it a richer fuller flavor! And how could it not be delicious with all that cream! You are such a great traditional cook– your food always looks so inviting! Hope all’s well with you. xox

Leave a Reply