Basic White Sauce and variations recipe
No need to make a classic roux, make this basic sauce which can be can be extended in so many ways.
Preparation time: 5 minutes plus 1 hour if infusing the milk
Cooking time: 20 minutes
15 fl oz / 425 ml milk
Blade of Mace
10 whole black peppercorns
slice of onion
a few chopped parsley stalks
3/4 oz / 20g plain or sauce flour
1 1/2 oz / 40g butter
Place the milk and infusion ingredients in a saucepan, bring slowly up to simmering point, remove from the heat and leave to infuse until cold.
The milk must be COLD, whether infusing or not, otherwise you will end up with a lumpy sauce.
Pour the milk (strain if infused, discard the flavourings) into a saucepan and add the flour and butter.
Bring the sauce slowly up to simmering whisking all the time with a balloon whisk.
The sauce will thicken as it comes to the simmer, turn the heat right down and simmer gently for 5 minutes to cook out the flour.
Now the basic sauce is ready, it can be flavoured:
Cheese Sauce – add grated cheese to taste and heat gently to melt into the sauce, do not allow to boil.
Parsley Sauce – stir in chopped flat-leaf parsley and heat through.
Onion Sauce – Fry chopped onions (and some chopped garlic if wished) very slowly in some butter and olive oil until soft and starting to caramalise, 30 – 45 mins (yes, really!), stir into the sauce and heat through.