Food - Drink
Why It Pays To Confit Leeks
By TALIN VARTANIAN
Confit is a French method of slow-cooking foods in fat, typically for a maximum of 12 hours at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the ingredients used. This cooking method is commonly used for meats like duck, but you can also try it with herbs, egg yolks, stone fruits, condiments, and vegetables like leeks.
Leek confit is one of the best ways to enjoy leeks, making them caramelized and tender and bringing out their natural sweetness and flavor. Leeks confit can be eaten as they are or alongside entrees, drizzled with toppings like creamy béarnaise sauce, or used to enhance side dishes like mashed potatoes.
Tender, medium-sized leeks are best for confit, since they won't take as long to cook, but be sure to clean them properly before using them. Bon Appétit offers a quick confit recipe that involves cooking the leeks in a mixture of butter, water, and salt on the stove, which only takes about 25-30 minutes.
For a more flavorful confit, try Chef Dominique Crenn’s method, which uses a warm vinaigrette of olive oil, thyme, a bay leaf, garlic, and cider vinegar or champagne vinegar. This vinaigrette is added to a roasting pan of leeks, which are then baked in an oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about a half hour.