Bechamel and Simple White Sauce

BÉCHAMEL SAUCE      Feeds 4  Estimated cost £1.00Bechamel Sauce
425ml Milk
A few stalks Fresh Parsley.
1 Bayleaf.
10 Whole Black Pepercorns
1 Medium Sliced Onion
40g Butter
40g Plain Flour
Salt and Black Pepper

1 milk pan
Fine strainer
Wooden Spatula
Balloon Whisk

To Flavour the Milk
  1. Place the milk in a pan and add parsley,bayleaf,peppercorns,sliced onion.
  2. Place the pan over a low heat and let the mixture come slowly to simmering point,about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the infused milk into a jug,discarding the flavourings

  • The infused milk can be set aside to be used when required.
To Make the Sauce

  1. Using the milk pan,place it on a low heat and melt the butter gently. Don't overheat or let it brown as this will affect the colour and taste of the sauce.
  2. As soon as butter melts,turn up the heat to medium and add the flour.
  3. Using the wooden spatula ,stir vigorously to make a smooth shiny paste called a roux.
  4. Add 25ml of infused milk and stir vigorously until it is incorporated in the roux.
  5. Add another 25ml of milk stirring vigorously until it is incorporated.
  6. Continue the process until half the milk is used then switch to the balloon whisk and add larger amounts of milk,whisking briskly until you have a smooth, creamy,glossy sauce.
  7. Turn the heat down to lowest setting and cook for 5 minutes,whisking from time to time.
  8. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

  • To keep the sauce warm place in a warmed jug covered with cling film to stop a skin forming and place the jug in a pan of almost simmering water.

  • A simple white sauce can be made by omitting the infusion process and just adding milk and black pepper.