Cauliflower puree. Beige sludge. Seriously, there is nothing I can do to make this look good. So I didn’t even try too hard to be honest. But my God, it tastes delicious!
I was watching an episode of Australian Masterchef last week and Billie – I love her – made a speck and cauliflower puree to go with a beef dish. The judges raved about it and it sounded fab so I thought I’d have to give it a go. I’ve never even seen speck though, but as it is a type of cured pork I decided to use pancetta instead. Feel free to use smoked bacon.
This is not to be used as a sauce, it is far too rich. A little on the side of a plate just really adds great flavour. I made this to go with beef but it would work really well with any meat, white fish or scallops. I’m not saying you would make it every day but it would be a great extra for a special meal.
Makes approx. 300ml
- 40g butter
- 100g diced pancetta or streaky smoked bacon
- ½ an onion, finely diced
- 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 200ml milk
- ½ a head of cauliflower – approx. 400g
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat and then add the pancetta and onion. Cook until the bacon is cooked and the onions have softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Pour the milk in and bring to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, remove the leaves and tough inner stalk from the cauliflower and cut it into florets.
- Add to the milk along with the thyme and bay leaf and bring it back to a simmer.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pan. Simmer until the cauliflower is cooked through, it will take about 20 minutes depending on the size of the florets.
- Scoop out the cooked cauliflower and put it into a blender or food processor. It will be fine if some of the bacon or onion gets into the blender but make sure you don’t add the herbs. Blend until the cauliflower is completely pureed. Add some of the milk if you want to thin it down a bit.
- This was just the texture I wanted from the blender but if you want to make it smoother pass it through a fine sieve.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.