makes 8 servings
4 strips Applewood smoked bacon, cut in 2-inch strips
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3 cups chicken stock or broth, plus more as needed
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
8 whole Belgian endive
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons grated Gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
3 large egg yolks
In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon strips until they are evenly browned and the fat has been rendered. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl. Add the parsley and set aside. (If making in advance, cover and refrigerate.)
In a pot large enough to hold the endive in a single layer, add the chicken stock or broth, carrot, celery, onion and sugar and the salt and pepper to taste and bring the stock to a simmer over low heat. Place the endive in the pot in a single layer, adding more stock, if necessary, to cover it.
Brush a large sheet of parchment paper with 1 tablespoon of the butter and place it, buttered side down, directly on top of the endive. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the endive is soft when tested with a knife. Using tongs, transfer the endive to a medium-large baking dish in a single layer or eight individual ovenproof dishes and set aside to cool.
If making in advance, cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the flour and stir to combine, without letting the mixture brown. Add the milk and stir constantly until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Add the Gruyere and mustard, stirring to combine. Strain the sauce mixture through a sieve into a medium bowl, add the egg yolks and stir to combine.
Pour the sauce over the endive and sprinkle with the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons Gruyere. Bake for 10 minutes, then broil until the cheese is browned, about 3 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with bacon-parsley mixture. Serve hot.
courtesy of: The Washington Post, November 16, 2005. Adapted from Robert Wiedmaier, chef and owner of Marcel's in the West End