Classic cauliflower cheese


Cauliflower cheese is a perfect side dish for roast chicken – either as part of a Sunday dinner or with cold leftovers.


For the sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 3.

  2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the cauliflower and cook for 4 minutes, or until tender. Drain and put in a large ovenproof dish.

  3. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the bay leaves, mace and peppercorns. Bring almost to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside.

  4. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, mustard powder and cayenne pepper. Beat until smooth, then cook for a further 1–2 minutes, stirring all the time. Strain the milk into a jug and gradually add it to the pan, beating in each addition until smooth before adding more milk. As the mixture loosens you can add the milk in larger quantities, stirring constantly until it is all incorporated. Add 75g/2½oz cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and sprinkle with the reserved cheese. Bake for around 30 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown and bubbling.