Anglesey Eggs

Anglesey eggs – wnau ynys mon – can be served as a first course en cocotte or as a large dish for a one-course lunch or supper. If serving en cocotte as a first course, use only one egg per person, put a layer of leek and potato in the bottom, put the eggs on top and fill the individual dishes with the sauce, again finishing with a layer of the the cheese and crumbs.

Ingredients

  • 550 g/ lb potatoes
  • 450 g/ 1 lb leeks, split and cut into thin slices
  • 70 g/ oz butter
  • 8 eggs
  • 30 g/ 1 oz flour
  • 600 ml/ 1 pt milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 85 g/ 3 oz Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 60 g/ 2 oz breadcrumbs

Method

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water, drain and mash dry.

At the same time, in a pan covered with a lid and over the lowest heat, stew the leeks gently in 45 g/ oz of the butter for 15–20 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Hard-boil the eggs, shell them and cut in halves. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.

Make a roux by melting the remaining butter in a heavy-based pan and stirring in the flour. Cook gently, stirring, for about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk. Add the bay leaf and nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Cook over a low heat, stirring regularly, for 20–30 minutes. Then stir in the grated Cheddar.

Beat the leeks into the potatoes and spoon them round the outside edge of an ovenproof dish. Arrange the egg halves in the middle and pour the sauce over them, scattering a little more cheese and a few breadcrumbs on top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, when the dish will be bubbling hot with a golden brown gratin finish.

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