I’m not a huge roast dinner fan. I often think they look a bit crap and are so overrated. Well, the one you see online are anyway! Whenever I have been out for Sunday lunch, it never lives up to expectations, even if I set mine low in the hope that it will be halfway to edible. I know I sound like a food snob, but I’m not, I just detest bland food that has no texture or depth to it. Too many people are willing to accept mundane food and learn to think of it as tasty or decent. One of the worst things about eating out is usually the cauliflower cheese. It ends up being claggy, tasteless and overcooked. We went out for lunch last Sunday and it was so below par that the same night, I ended up eating a portion of chilli con carne from the previous night because I couldn’t eat the lunch!
Today has been a typical rainy Sunday and when it’s like that, sometimes you just want some comfort food. So Tom and I thought we would cook a roast our way. It’s nice cooking a roast together because we both do our own bits and they come together beautifully. Eating nice food is definitely one of our passions and one of the things that made us first click. While Tom was in charge of the pork and the homemade yorkshire puddings, I did the potatoes and veg. I have to admit, we cheated with the gravy. Ages ago, when we had beef wellington, I made a rich, shallot and red wine gravy and as there was so much left, we froze it – so we just used that today and I’m glad we did because it was SO good. One of the things I really wanted was a decent cauliflower cheese. I hate cauliflower on its own. It’s so bitter and tasteless, but smother it in cheese, and I love it! I also added some broccoli and leeks to this one as they’re two vegetables I actually do like!
A homemade cheese sauce is just so easy to do. It baffles me that more people don’t do it and they either use a packet or buy it already made from a supermarket. I also add mustard to mine for a bit of extra flavour, and use vegetable stock rather than milk. It actually still tastes really creamy, but has a better texture and consistency. We also had honey roasted carrots and parsnips, but they’re so simple to do, I won’t insult anyone by writing that one down.
For four people:
- A whole cauliflower – cut into florets.
- A whole broccoli – cut into florets.
- 100g sliced leek.
- 40g butter.
- 40g plain flour.
- 600ml vegetable stock.
- Black pepper.
- 400g cheese (I used a mixture of stilton and cheddar).
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard.
- 1 tsp dijon mustard.
- Firstly, boil the vegetables for 5 minutes – you still want them to be al dente as they will continue to cook in the oven. If you overcook them, it will be a sloppy mess.
- Drain and set aside in an ovenproof dish.
- To make the sauce, melt the butter and add the flour slowly. Whisk to make a roux.
- Next, slowly add the vegetable stock and continue whisking over a medium heat. You don’t want it to boil.
- When the sauce is the consistency of thick custard, add the grated cheese (save some to sprinkle on the top) and whisk until it has all melted in.
- Add the mustard and black pepper. Whisk it all in and remove from the heat.
- Pour over the cooked vegetables and sprinkle the cheese on the top. Cook in the oven on 180 degrees for 20 minutes. Finish under the grill for 3 minutes to brown the cheese.