Cracked Black Pepper & Garlic Cauliflower Cheese with Smoked Bacon

SERVES 4
TIME: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
DIFFICULTY: Medium

INGREDIENTS
1 Large Cauliflower, separated into florets (about 600g)
6 Rashers of Smoked, Streaky Bacon
75g Salted Butter
1 Leek, trimmed, washed and finely chopped
50g Plain Flour
700ml Semi Skimmed Milk
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Pinch of Nutmeg
175g Windyridge Cheddar with Black Pepper and Garlic, grated
15g Coarse Breadcrumbs

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 6
  2. Bring a large of water to the boil and cook the cauliflower for 8 minutes until tender. Drain and tip into an ovenproof dish.
  3. Place the bacon rashers onto a baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes until crispy. Chop into small pieces and sprinkle over the cauliflower.
  4. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the leek. Cook over a gentle heat for 5 minutes until soft. Add the flour and stir quickly to form a smooth paste. Slowly add the milk a little at a time, stirring constantly until you have a smooth, creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Stir in most of the cheese, saving a little for the top.
  5. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and then the breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.
    Serve straight away with baked potatoes or crusty bread and salad.