Cauliflower cheese with gruyère and beer


1 large cauliflower, (about 800g) trimmed and separated into large florets
2 tbsp olive oil
400ml semi-skimmed milk
40g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
40g plain flour
100ml pale lager (such as Heineken or Budweiser)
1 tsp dijon mustard
½ tsp worcestershire sauce
1 heaped tbsp crème fraîche
150g gruyère, grated 
30g parmesan, finely grated


1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Toss the cauliflower florets with the oil, season and spread out on a large baking tray. Roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway, until browned and tender. Reduce the oven to 190˚C, gas mark 5.

2. Meanwhile, put the milk in a small pan and heat gently until just steaming, but not boiling. Melt the butter in a second, larger pan set over a low-medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Swap to a balloon whisk and gradually add the hot milk, whisking gently to create a smooth sauce. Gradually add the lager and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 6-7 minutes, stirring, until very thick. Season and remove from the heat. Immediately stir in the mustard, worcestershire sauce, crème fraîche and ½ the gruyère. Cover and set aside.

3. Butter a medium-sized ovenproof dish. Pile in the roast cauliflower and spoon over the cheese sauce. Scatter with the parmesan and the remaining 75g gruyère. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Rest for 5-10 minutes before serving with salad and/or baked potatoes, if liked.


Cook’s tip
It’s important to add the hot milk to the flour and butter very slowly to start with. Once you have a smooth mixture, you can add it more quickly.

This recipe first appeared in Waitrose Food, February 2018 issue. Download the Waitrose Food app for the full issue

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus resting
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes, plus resting

Serves: 4

Nutritional Info

Typical values per serving:

Energy 2,179kJ
Fat 37.3g
Saturated Fat 19.5g
Carbohydrate 21.3g
Sugars 10.8g
Protein 22.5g
Salt 1.1g
Fibre 4g

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5 stars

Average user rating Based on 6 ratings

This recipe was first published in February 2018.