Bechamel Sauce

Prep Time: 0:30
Cook Time: 0:20
Serves: 4

Ingredients / Shopping List

500ml milk
30g carrot
30g onion
20g celery
3 bay leaves
6 peppercorns
1 clove (optional)
Pouring sauce:
25g margarine or butter
25g plain flour
White pepper 

Prep to Cook:  Sauce pan, wooden spoon, chopping board, vegetable knife, measuring jug.

Prep: Prepare the vegetables:  

Peel and slice carrot baton.

Cut stick of celery

Peel and slice a portion of onion.

Measure peppercorns, bay leaves and clove.

Place these ingredients and the milk into a pan.

Bring to the boil and then turn off the heat.

Allow to infuse for 15 minutes.

Strain the milk and discard the flavourings.

Proceed as for a roux sauce:

Melt butter and stir in flour.  Cook the roux lightly.

Gradually stir in the flavoured milk a little at a time.

Beat well to avoid any lumps forming.

Bring to the boil and season to taste.

Check it out!

Béchamel sauce is infused to create flavour.  It can be thickened as a coating sauce or a pouring sauce.  Use on vegetables, pasta or fish.

Recipe Science

Cooks Know How: The skill in this sauce is to flavour the milk before you make the sauce.  Use classic flavouring ingredients of carrot, onion, celery and bay leaves, peppercorns and a clove.  Infusing transfers the flavours to the milk and some evaporation occurs during this process. Allow time for the infusion.  Make the sauce with a roux of butter and flour.  The fat will melt and release the starch grains and they, in turn, will absorb liquid, swell and finally gelatinise to create a sauce.  Keep rapid stirring as you add the milk for a smooth and glossy sauce.
Bring the sauce to the boil to ensure gelatinisation is complete and the sauce does not taste raw.