Celery and Bacon au Gratin

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

After the first frosts home-grown celery is extra crisp and full of flavour. Use celery in the same way as cauliflower, leeks and chicory, to make a tasty supper dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 head celery
  • 6–8 rashers bacon
  • 40 g/ oz butter
  • 25 g/1 oz flour
  • 1.5 dl/¼ pint milk
  • 100 g/4 oz grated cheese seasoning to taste
  • pinch mustard
  • few fresh breadcrumbs

    Method

    Trim and scrub the celery. Remove the ‘strings’ from coarser stalks and cut the celery in 2.5 - cm (1 - in) slices. Cook in about 3 dl (½ pint) lightly salted water until tender – about 20 minutes. Drain and reserve the liquor for the sauce. Trim and fry the bacon rashers and arrange in layers with the celery in a greased baking dish.

    Melt 25 g (1 oz) of the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for a moment. Stir in 1.5 dl (¼ pint) celery liquor, beating to get a smooth sauce, then add the milk. Stir until boiling, then add 75 g (3 oz) of the grated cheese, seasoning to taste and a pinch of mustard. Pour over the celery and bacon. Scatter a few breadcrumbs and the remaining cheese on top. Dot the remaining butter over the top and brown near the top of a moderately hot oven (190°C., 375°F., Gas Mark 5) for 15–20 minutes or under the grill.