cauliflower cheese, sheep’s milk Wensleydale & pulled ham hock

Lindsey Bareham

This version of our national favourite takes trouble with the cheese sauce — tangy from Dijon mustard and sheep’s milk Wensleydale — while upping the ante with salty pulled ham, hard-boiled eggs, flat-leaf parsley and a crisp cheesy topping.

serves 2, generously, prep 20 min, cook 35 min

1 cauliflower
2 eggs
25g butter
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
150ml milk
150ml cauliflower cooking water
100g sheep’s milk Wensleydale cheese
90g pulled ham hock
10g flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp finely grated pecorino romano
2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

Discard the dense leaves around the cauliflower, leaving paler inner leaves. Cut the cauli in quarters. Steam or boil for 4-6 min until the core is just tender. Drain, reserving 150ml cooking water. Halve each piece of cauli and nudge together in a gratin-style dish.

Meanwhile boil the eggs for 9 min. Peel and cut in quarters. Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour to make a paste, then mustard. Add the cauli water, then milk, stirring to make a sauce. Simmer, stirring, for 5 min. Grate the Wensleydale and stir in. Scatter egg, ham and chopped parsley between the cauli. Spoon the sauce over the top. Mix pecorino and crumbs and scatter. Bake at 200C/gas mark 6 for 20 min.