Any dish listed in French as 'boulangère' dates from a time when housewives and cooks did not have ovens of their own. Instead they would send gratin dishes out for the baker to cook in the cooling bread oven. They would be collected, savoury and steaming, just before lunch was served at home. Pommes boulangère is probably the most well known and commonly made today.
1 kg potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
A large leek, washed and sliced
300 ml beef stock
Salt and pepper
- Heat the oven to 180C.
- Butter a lasagne dish generously.
- Spread out about a quarter of the potatoes on the base of the dish. Sprinkle with a third of the leeks and season with salt and pepper. Repeat until ingredients finished, ending with a layer of potatoes.
- Pour over the stock and dot with butter.
- Bake for an hour in the oven. Serves 6.
The potatoes and leek came from my local organic market garden, Les Jardins Vergers de la Petite Rabaudière, who sell from the farm every Tuesday evening, or from a stall at the market in Preuilly every Thursday morning. The stock was leftover liquor from a beef stew I had made earlier. Locally made butter from the highly regarded dairy co-operative at Verneuil can be purchased in the Episervice (corner store) in Preuilly, direct from the Verneuil factory shop or in the Maison des Producteurs in Loches.