This is our twist on the ultimate comfort food. We roast the cauliflower in rendered beef fat from our organic red Devon Cows, keeping a little of the fat for the sauce itself in place of the butter. It’s unbelievably good and just the thing for a Christmas roast. By roasting the cauliflower you concentrate the flavour, and it’ll steam in the foil and lock in all the goodness.
Ingredients (to serve 6-8)
- 1 large cauliflower
- 150g of rendered beef fat
- Sea Salt & Pepper
- 200g Davidstow cheddar, grated
- 1 pint of full fat milk
- 100g plain flour
- 1 large tablespoon of English mustard
- Finely chopped chives
Firstly you’ll want to render your beef fat, there a few ways of doing this. You can simply slowly roast it in the oven to melt the fat and you’ll get a roast beef like flavour. Alternatively you can boil it down with water (the fat will remain on the surface and once the water has evaporated, the fat is all that will remain). We tend to use the roasting method as it will impart that roast beef flavour.
Once you’ve rendered the beef fat, allow it to cool and brush a third over your cauliflower, reserving the other two thirds for your roux. Season the cauliflower generously with salt & pepper, then wrap it in baking parchment and foil. Roast it in the oven at 180 degrees for 1 hour.
After an hour the cauliflower should be tender and cooked through, so you can now make the sauce. Begin by melting your remaining beef fat in a sauce pan and warming the milk separately in another pan.
Add the flour to the fat and cook out over a low heat until all the flour is absorbed and beginning to turn a light golden colour.
Add the milk slowly whilst continuously stirring so that no lumps can form. Once all the milk is added, turn up the heat and bring the mix to a slow boil. Once boiled, remove from the heat and beat in the cheese with a spoon. It’s important to do this off of the heat so the cheese can emulsify in and add a thick consistency with an almost stringy texture. Season well with salt and pepper and add the mustard.
Unwrap your cauliflower, coat generously in the cheese sauce then using a blowtorch caramelise the top and finish with the chopped chives.