Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Hearty, tasty casserole.
- 2 heads celery
- 1 medium onion
- 2 ounces butter
- 1 1⁄2 ounces flour
- 6 ounces double cream
- 5 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (, or other strong-flavoured cheese)
- 2 carrots
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 stalk parsley
- 6 ounces milk
- 7 ounces reduced stock
- 2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
- Trim the celery and peel each stalk using potato peeler to remove the tough strings.
- Cut the sticks into ¼ by 2½ chunks.
- Preheat the oven to 355 F.
- Roughly dice the carrot and onions.
- Place these and the herbs in a heatproof casserole.
- Put the celery on top and cover two thirds of it with water.
- Season it.
- Cover this with foil and fit the casserole lid on top of the foil.
- Cook in the oven for one hour.
- Remove the celery to a container, leaving the carrot and onion in the casserole and reduce the liquid to approx 7 fl oz.
- Strain the liquid and reserve it.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan.
- Stir in the flour and cook this mixture for a couple of minutes.
- Next, incorporate the milk and then the cream.
- Cook the sauce until it thickens.
- Stir in the reduced stock and the cheese.
- Cook the sauce for a couple of minutes and season it; it should be the thickness of heavy cream.
- Layer the sauce and the celery in an au gratin dish.
- Scatter the breadcrumbs on top.
- Bake for 40 minutes at 355 F.
- If necessary the surface can be browned under the broiler.