The most basic white sauce there is likely to be. This is a very simple sauce to make, yet incredibly versatile in use. You can convert this to many different sauces when adding spices such as paprika, or herbs such as tarragon. A béchamel can be used as a sauce inside a lasagne, but also on top with some grated cheese. Its uses include many pasta sauces, but a béchamel can also be transformed into a great cheese-sauce for vegetables. I can go on for a while like this.
A béchamel freezes well and can be reheated quite simply, just make sure to stir very well to prevent it catching on the bottom of the pan. Due to its versatility and ease of making, I can recommend that you add this sauce to your basic repertoire.
- 30gr butter
- 30gr flour
- 600ml milk
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a thick bottomed saucepan. When melted, add the flour and stir with a silicon spatula. I know, this must sound strange, but it works really well as the butter and flour will form a dough, and until the sauce has been thinned down enough, a whisk would create lumps much more easily.
Cook the ball of dough for a minute or so, until the dough is somewhat drier. Then add a little bit of milk. Combine the milk and dough with use of the spatula, until homogenous. The paste will form back into a dough quickly, but keep adding small amounts of milk and stirring with the spatula.
Eventually the dough will turn into a very thick sauce. Now you can start adding larger amounts of milk, and you can stir with a whisk instead. Add enough milk to make the desired consistency. You might not need all the milk, but do remember that the sauce will thicken more over time.
Leave the sauce to simmer for 10-15 minutes while stirring occasionally, in order to cook the flour inside the sauce well.
Season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper. If you will transform the sauce to a different sauce, don’t add the nutmeg.