This Bechamel Sauce recipe is an essential one that will come in handy for lots of delicious dishes. It was actually the first thing I ever learned how to make in home economics class! Granted, the recipe I was taught was a lot less exciting than this one.
There are many more basic versions of this sauce out there, but none as flavoursome as this one! Historically, béchamel sauce was first used in Tuscan and Emilian cuisine, and was soon imported into France by Henry IV’s second wife, Marie de’ Medici. Oh la la!
Although it’s now widely seen as a basic staple of home cooking, it’s still a sauce fit for royalty in our eyes! This versatile sauce is used for loads of great meals, including: lasagne, fisherman’s pie, casseroles, pasta dishes, homemade creamy soups, and (the best dish of all time) cauliflower cheese!
WARNING! Once you start using this béchamel sauce, you’ll never go back…
Bechamel Sauce Recipe
450ml whole milk
1 onion, with skin removed, and chopped in half
1 bay leaf
1/2 a tsp of nutmeg
50g plain flour
Salt & pepper to season
Pour the milk into a saucepan, and add the onion halves, bay leaf and nutmeg.
Gently bring the milk to the boil. Allow to bubble gently for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 15 minutes.
While you wait for the milk to infuse, take out a second saucepan and melt the butter over a gentle heat. Once the butter has melted you can start adding your flour. Stir continuously to make a paste. This is called a ‘roux’.
Next, remove the onion halves and bay leaf from the infused milk and discard.
Gradually add the milk to the roux, stirring continuously.
Continue to stir the mixture over a gentle heat for 5-10 minutes, until the sauce has become thick and creamy.
Finally, season with salt and pepper. Remember to keep it on a low heat and stir often until you are using the sauce. If you leave it to go cold or don’t stir it frequently enough, it will solidify.
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