Start off with your smoked bacon. The texture of the bacon will balance
the rest of the dish. The bacon needs to be crisp and, once done, will keep
well in the vicinity of your stove as you prepare the other ingredients. Chop
the bacon and fry over a gentle heat until it is golden brown.
Meanwhile wash the cauliflower, divide into equal sized florets and add to
a large saucepan of boiling water. Simmer for about eight minutes until cooked
but with a bite. Drain through a colander and set the colander on the original
saucepan, in a warm place to drain as you make your sauce.
Heat the butter and, when it has melted, add the flour. Let this roux
simmer for a minute or so to get a nuttiness. Add the milk gradually, stirring
constantly so that the roux absorbs all the milk . In this way you should
avoid lumps. When all the milk has been added let the sauce simmer for ten
minutes to thicken.
Meanwhile make your breadcrumbs. I used a small fork to scratch them off
the crusty ends of a loaf.
Add two thirds of the grated cheese to the thick béchamel sauce and stir
until it is absorbed. Taste and season.
Pour one third of the sauce into a warmed ovenproof dish. Add the cooked
cauliflower and pour over the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs, the
smoky bacon pieces and the remaining cheese over the surface of the dish and
place under a medium grill for about five minutes to brown.