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    Leek, cannellini bean & ham stew

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    Leek, cannellini bean & ham stew

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes
    • Cooking time: 1 hour 25 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes

    Serves: 4


    500g leeks, sliced
    10g unsalted butter
    2 tbsp olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
    1 fennel bulb, trimmed, fronds reserved
    ½ tsp fennel seeds
    ¼ tsp chilli flakes
    2 x 400g cans cannellini beans
    500ml chicken stock
    1 bay leaf
    180g pulled ham hock
    1 tbsp cider vinegar, plus extra if needed


    1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Wash the leeks in a colander. Put the butter and oil in a flameproof casserole dish over a medium-low heat. Add the leeks and garlic with a pinch of salt and sauté for 10 minutes, until the leeks are soft and any liquid has evaporated. 

    2. Meanwhile, cut the fennel bulb into thin wedges. Finely grind the fennel seeds using a pestle and mortar. Add both to the pan along with the chilli flakes; sauté for a further 10-12 minutes, until sticky and turning golden. Pour the beans and their liquid into the pan, along with the remaining ingredients. Season and bring to the boil. 

    3. Transfer the casserole dish to the oven and cook for 45 minutes, giving it a stir halfway through. If you want a richer stew, turn the heat up to 200˚C, gas mark 6 and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until thick and sticky. Season, adding a little more cider vinegar if needed. Scatter over the reserved fennel fronds and serve with crusty bread to soak up the juices.

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