This comforting Belgian dish is cheap to make, easy to prepare and delicious.
- 5 medium-large Potatoes peeled and cut in 4
- 2 stalks Leeks sliced in small rings
- 1 ¼ pound Italian sausages or any other mixed ground beef a mixture of pork (fatter) and beef (lean) is the best
- ½ cup cream cheese (or full-fat cream)
- 2 tsp nutmeg
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup mozarella, grated substitute with any other cheese good for gratin
Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C
Peel the potatoes and cook in salted water until fork tender.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a medium-large (10") skillet and set on medium-high heat. Sautee the onions for about 5 minutes or until fork-tender. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Check the potatoes and drain the liquid when they are done. Transfer the potatoes back to the pan and give them the time to let off steam.
Is your ground meat pre-seasoned? Perfect. If not, use a spice mix you like or use the Italian sausages spice mix. Use the same pan you used for the leeks. Add half a teaspoon of olive oil and set on high heat. In order to brown, rather than steam, the pan needs to be hot. Adding oil is recommended for better browning.Use a wooden spoon or other sturdy spatula to break the meat up into large pieces in the pan. Let it brown for several minutes.As the beef begins to brown, continue to break the meat into smaller and smaller pieces. Try not to stir the beef too much; just stir occasionally until all of the beef is browned.
Transfer the browned ground beef to an oven safe-dish. In this case, I used 2 glass containers, since I was making dinner for 2 times 2 people.
Rice the potatoes (food mill, potato masher or potato ricer). Add the cream cheese and nutmeg and stir until you have a nice, thick, creamy mash. Mix in the sauteed leeks. Add pepper and salt to taste.Spread the potato-leek mixture on top of the ground beef. Divide in two an spread an equal amount on top of the two dishes. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Place the dish in the oven for 25 minutes and check. The contents of your dish are done since we cooked everything through while preparing all the separate ingredients. The main purpose of the time in the oven is to add a brown cheese crust on top. You can start the top grill and broil for a couple (5) minutes.