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Cauliflower Cheese

Cauliflower Cheese

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Cauliflower Cheese
18th February, 2018

When I was a young lad at school I remember shuddering with dread when I saw Cauliflower Cheese on the menu. The cauliflower was cooked to within a minute of becoming sludge and then it was mixed in with the weakest and wateriest possible version of a cheese sauce. It was truly awful

My version of Cauliflower Cheese though is thick, textured and wonderfully tasty and isn’t out of place as a main course or as a side dish to your Sunday lunch


  • 1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 50g butter
  • 100g pancetta (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Plain Flour
  • 150 mls Milk
  • 200g Cheddar Cheese, grated


    Preheat the oven to 180 C

    In a pan of boiling salted water, add the cauliflower florets and bring back to the boil. Cook the florets for about 5 minutes, drain in a colander and then cover in cold water to stop them cooking further

    Now is time to make the unctuous cheese sauce. I’ve stated that the pancetta is optional and if you don’t want to use it then don’t worry; the sauce is still darned good

    In a saucepan, add the butter and start to melt. If using the pancetta; add this into the pan and begin to brown off for a few minutes. If not using pancetta you may want a tad more butter; it’s now time to add the onions to the pan (with or without the pancetta) and start to soften. This will take about 5 minutes

    Add in the garlic and cook for a further few minutes over a low heat. Then add the mustard, mix together and cook for another minute

    Now add the flour and bring the mixture together and cook for a few minutes

    Gradually pour in the milk and keep stirring as to remove lumps. The sauce should be looser/thinner than a standard white sauce. If you need more milk as it's too thick then gradually add some extra

    Remove the sauce pan from the heat and add the grated Cheddar cheese. Stir until the sauce is smooth and thickened

    Butter a baking dish large enough to hold the cauliflower and cheese sauce. Add the cauliflower and then pour over the cheese sauce to cover. Give the cauliflower and sauce a quick stir to make sure it's all incorporated

    At this point you can keep the dish in the fridge until you’re ready later on in the day

    To serve, heat the oven to 180C and cook the dish for 30 minutes