Braised Leeks and Shiitakes Wrapped in Pancetta
- 4 large leeks (white part needs to be 6 inches long after trimming)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 medium shiitakes, stems removed and discarded or saved for stock
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 cup Chicken Stock or high-quality canned low-sodium chicken broth
- Â¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 sprig thyme
- Â¼ teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 8 thin slices pancetta (3 to 4 ounces)
Once you taste leeks braised in a little white wine and chicken stock, youâ€™ll never go back to braising them in water.
- Trim the roots off each leek. Cut off the green tops and any tough outer leaves. Slice each leek lengthwise, leaving a 2-inch section of the base intact. Holding the base tightly, swish each leek vigorously in a pot of cold water, spreading the leaves apart, then rinse under cold running water to dislodge any sand or grit trapped between the leaves. Shake off excess water.
- Heat the oil in a large sautÃ© pan over medium heat. Add the mushroom caps, season with salt and pepper, and cook, turning once, until tender, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
- Add the leeks to the pan and sear all over until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook until it becomes aromatic, about a minute. Add the stock, wine, thyme, and rosemary, lay a piece of foil over the leeks, and then cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the leeks are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the leeks from the liquid and cool; reserve the braising liquid.
- Insert 2 shiitakes between the halves of each leek, like a sandwich. Wrap 2 slices of the pancetta around each leek in a spiral, to secure the shiitakes and bind the leek halves together.
- Place the pancetta-wrapped leeks in a large nonstick sautÃ© pan and cook over medium heat, using tongs to turn the leeks, until the pancetta is browned all over and the leeks are warm. Serve drizzled with the braising liquid.