Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ham, Cauliflower, Potatoes and Cheese Sauce

I had to wait a couple of days to get a new keyboard. I spilled coffee on mine for the umpteenth time and this time it didn't come back. So I got a Logitech K800 wireless illuminated keyboard. If you have a hundred dollars to spare, you want one.

This is Fern's family recipe for ham and cauliflower in cheese sauce.  To speed up cooking I par boiled the thinly sliced potatoes and steamed the cauliflower. While that was happening I fried a couple of diced onions to golden.  I thinly sliced half a kilo of ham and made a layer covering the whole bottom of an 8x12 pan. I put the potatoes which were almost mashed at this point.  Then the cauliflower and covered than with the onions. Finally I poured a cheese sauce over everything and put it in the oven at 350ºF for about 30 minutes.

Cheese Sauce

300 gm extra old cheddar - Armstrong or Baldersons are good. Kraft isn't.
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup beef stock
2 cups milk

Melt butter and flour and let bubble for a minute to cook off the flour taste.  If it's too thick add a little more butter.  Remove from heat and whisk in the stock and milk. Return to medium heat and grated cheese.  Stir regularly till bubbling and thick.  If it's too thin add a little Instant Blending Flour and cook for another minute. It's important not to give diners a taste of raw flour. Try it, you'll hate it! Pour cheese sauce over everything.

I liked the beef stock better than chicken stock I'd used previously.  I wouldn't buy it just for this dish but if I wanted to make some other soup or dish, it would be worth investing in. I make my own chicken stock every week. 

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