We often take side servings of vegetables for granted but done well they can’t be beat. Rediscover the best way to prepare potatoes, cauliflower and even cabbage.
• 50 g lard or olive oil
• 450 g potatoes
Place a fat-filled roasting tin to preheat at 220°C. Peel and cut the potatoes into even sizes, pour boiling water over them, add some salt, and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain, then put the lid back on the saucepan and shake it vigorously up and down to roughen the edges of the potatoes. Make sure the fat in the roasting tin is really hot and take it out of the oven, closing the door to keep the heat in. Place the tin over direct medium heat to keep the fat sizzling. Spoon in the potatoes, tilting the pan to baste each one with a complete covering of hot fat. Transfer them to the highest shelf of the oven and roast for 45 to 55 minutes. Turn them over at half time.
• 300 g cauliflower florets
• 50 g butter
• 40 g tbsp plain flour, sifted
• 570 ml milk
• 300 g mature cheddar, grated
• 3 tbsp white breadcrumbs
Boil the cauliflower for 5 minutes until tender. Preheat the oven to 200°C. To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter gently in a small saucepan. Take it off the heat and stir in the flour to form a smooth paste. Return the pan to a medium heat and start to add the milk, about 25 milligrams at a time. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon as you pour to incorporate each bit of liquid thoroughly before adding the next. When all the milk has been incorporated, turn the heat to its lowest possible setting and let the sauce cook for 6 minutes. Stir in half the cheese over a low heat until melted. Add the cauliflower, mix well, and transfer to a gratin dish. Combine the remaining cheese with breadcrumbs, sprinkle over the top and bake for 20 minutes until golden and crisp.
• 3 pounds cabbage, chopped
• 225 g thick-cut bacon, chopped
• 78 ml apple cider vinegar
• 500 ml water
• 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
Bring the cabbage, bacon, vinegar and 475 milligrams of water to a boil over a medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and then simmer uncovered for about 3 hours until the cabbage is very tender. Add more water as needed. Whisk the flour and 25 milligrams of water together in a small bowl and gradually add it to the cabbage mixture. Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened.
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