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Winter vegetable gratin

Yep, I'm kicking it 2008 style once again. Cast your mind back to those heady days. Katy Perry kissed a girl and liked it, Dmitry Medvedev became president of Russia, and the QEII was retired. 

And somewhere in amongst all that, I tore a few recipes out of the Observer Food Monthly for Christmas recipes, and promptly didn't cook them until now.

But having made a New Year's resolution to leave no recipe behind, I've been going through them and cooking up what looked appealing. First up, winter vegetable gratin.

The original recipe is no longer online - after six years, I guess it's not surprising - so I've written it up here. It wasn't vegan, but didn't take much effort to become so: cream became Alpro soya cream, butter became Pure dairy-free margarine. 

Dumbass that I am, it didn't occur to me that maybe 'Christmas feast recipes' are probably meant to serve a few people. I made a full recipe's-worth of the gratin, and was promptly wondering where to find a football team to eat the leftovers.

No football team being forthcoming, I froze the gratin, and used it to make cobbler the next week.

You know that axiom about food tasting better if you leave it for a bit? Whoever told you that was a big fat liar. Turns out if you leave gratin for a bit, it not only does not get better, it gets weird and damp and makes you think a bit of sick with a scone topping. It also looks a bit like sick. Sorry.

And, while you'd be forgiven for thinking most things taste better with a scone topping, I'm not sure this one comes recommended from the Flicking the Vs' Cookbook of Fun. Still, there's the recipe for the gratin below if you want to try it yourself.

I wouldn't recommend it...

200g celeriac, peeled and cut into 3cm pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into rounds
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into semi-circles
1 small swede, peeled and cut into chunks
2 potatoes, cut into 3cm pieces
250ml single cream
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp mustard poweder
50g rye or  brown breadcrumbs
2tsb fresh majoram leaves
salt and pepper

How you do it
Preheat the oven to 180C and lightly grease a medium ovenproof dish.
Bring a large saucepan of  lightly salted water to the boil and add the celeriac, carrot, parsnip swede and potatoes. Cook for ten minutes, drain, then transfer the veggies to a large bowl.
Put the cream, garlic and mustard powder, in a small saucepan set over medium heat.
Cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon.
Season to taste and our over the vegetables. Toss to combine and spoon the mixture into the greased baking dish.
Put the marjoram leaves and breadcrumbs over the vegetables. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes until golden.

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  1. What a review. Wait, was it good when it was fresh before you froze it? Its always disappointing to hear about delicious ingredients becoming sad, sad meals.

  2. Well you have enough food there to feed an army at least!

  3. Here, I had such high hopes for the gratin when you started out. Oh, to see it crash into despair and oblivion! Poor, poor gratin.

  4. I gotta admire your brutal honesty, ha ha. I’ve had similar experiences with creamy things going kind of weird over time, I hope it a least tasted ok warm out of the oven. If it were me, I’d have probably picked off all the biscuits and left the rest.

  5. Well, not every recipe can be a winner. Sad this one didn't live up to its potential. It sure sounds good, though.

  6. Aw, too bad the gratin was less than stellar. The only thing worse than a disappointing dinner is when you've made a ton of it. Maybe you need to befriend a football team to come and help you with the leftovers.

  7. Gratin recipes are definitely hit and miss! I made a cauliflower gratin a while ago, and it was the first one that tasted really good. To your credit, the pictures certainly make it look delicious!

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