Leeks are one of those vegetables I have come across within the last few years that I discovered that I absolutely love! They are in the onion family, however not nearly as strong. Leeks grow mostly in sandy soil, therefore they are a bit difficult to clean, the sand gets in between some of the layers. Don’t let that stop you from trying to make these luscious lager creamed leeks at home.
In our household, we always have an assortment of beer on hand. My husband brews the occasional beer, we live down the street from a few breweries, and sometimes friends will stop by and leave what they don’t drink. This provides the perfect opportunity for me to try different styles of beer and see what works well in different recipes.
A few weekends ago we had some friends over for a nice little fire in our backyard fire-pit. It was a beautiful 70-degree day and what better way to cherish a day like that than with some friends, beer, s’mores, and a fire? When the night was over some friends left a few beers they didn’t want to lug home with them, Devil’s Backbone Black Lager (Thanks, Chip & Renee!). I knew they wouldn’t go to waste, my husband and I both love lager-style beers.
I had some leeks in the fridge that I needed to use up before they went bad and I wasn’t sure what to do with them. Then it hit me, they were on the shelf right next to the beer so I decided I wanted to make beer leeks somehow. I love creamed leeks, thanks to a local restaurant, so I decided to try my hand at creamed leeks with beer. I also had some Tatsoi (similar to spinach) that I wanted to use up and thought it would go well with this dish since it takes to heat well.
These creamed leeks with Devil’s Backbone Black Lager are a quick easy side for any dinner. They only take about 10-12 mins to make and can be done in the background while you’re are making other dishes. If you don’t have beer on hand or don’t drink you can substitute the beer for chicken stock or just water.
It is essential to ensure your leeks are cleaned thoroughly, no one wants to bite into grit. The best way I have found to clean leeks is to slice them in length, then chop them into half moons. Then you will want to rinse them. Put them in a bowl of water deep enough that they don’t touch the bottom. Move them around with your hands so all the sand and dirt will fall to the bottom of the bowl. Skim the leeks off the top of the water and put them on a towel and pat them dry. There you go, your leeks should be clean!
- 8 cups of chopped leeks, three large leeks
- 1 1/2 cups of Tatsoi roughly chopped (optional-added nutrition)
- 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 3 Tbs of butter
- 7 oz of lager-style beer (a little over half a can/bottle–drink the rest of it!)
- 1/3 cup half and half or cream
- 1/4 cup of shredded cheese (optional)
- Add butter to pan then garlic and simmer for 45 seconds on medium heat.
- Add leeks sautée for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add 7 ounces of beer and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add Tatsoi and saute until almost all of the beer has evaporated you want about 2 tablespoons left in the bottom of the pan.
- Add 1/3 cup of half and half reduce for 2-4 mins or until thickened.
- Optional add 1/4 cup of a good melting cheese, I used mozzarella.
- Serve warm, will stay in sealed container in the refrigerator for 2 additional days (don’t count on leftovers, they are that good!)