Cauliflower a la Joe Beef

November 17, 2015


I have to admit that since visiting Vin Papillon in Montreal last week I’ve been slightly obsessed by Joe Beef.  Pulled their cookbook off the shelf the other day,

IMG_7008 (1)

and lost myself in its quirky pleasures….

an ode to trains

instructions for building your own smoker

opinions about steaming clams (very simply)

foie gras for  breakfast

and this lovely recipe for cauliflower au gratin.

Made it last night. Loved it.

Herewith their recipe:

Cauliflower Gratin

To make the sauce, combine 1 1/2 cups of milk with a bay leaf, a chopped clove of garlic, 1/4 cup ham or prosciutto trimmings and bring to a simmer.  Turn off tahe heat and let cool for 10 minutes.  Toss the bay leaf.

Make a bechamel by melting 3 tablespoons of butter and whisking in 3 tablespoons of flour and cooking, whisking, for a minute or so. Slowly add the milk mixture, whisking constantly.  Continue until it’s thick, then stir in a quarter cup of grated mimolette and a quarter cup of grated gruyere.  (Had no mimolette; used aged Gouda instead.)  Add salt and pepper and keep warm.

Salt a large pot of water, bring it to a boil and toss in a head of cauliflower, separated into large florets.  Cook for 3 minutes. Drain.

Toss the cauliflower with the cheese sauce, pour it into a casserole dish and scatter a mixture of grated mimolette (or aged gouda) and panko crumbs over the top.  Bake in a 400 degree over for about 15 minutes until bubbling and golden.

It does, as they say in the book, resemble Kraft Mac and Cheese.  But it tastes SO much better!

Categorised in:


  • Alexia says:

    Ruth, can you please suggest a substitute for the flavor of the prosciutto or ham? I rarely have those in my kitchen. Thank you!

  • Jan Johnson says:

    This sounds easy and delicious! I’m going to try it!

  • sue g says:

    I find prosciutto tastes similar to Italian dry salami (SF style). Any savory pork meat should do well, maybe try liguica or even Mexican link chorizo sausage. Even a British style smoked tongue? Or corned beef! I make a similar dish adding some Dijon and Coleman’s mustard.

  • Anonymous says:

    I was thrilled to purchase your new book, My Kitchen Year and look forward to reading it over the Holidays. Currently in London, where I live for 8+ Months a year on Portland Place in Marylebone, just down from Regent’s Park.
    I am equally thrilled to be now have the opportunity to receive posts from you on Facebook.
    I have always enjoyed your insights and humor!

  • John Primitivo Orosco says:

    Great dish, as always you remind the magic of dish.