Do I Make ... ?
| In this section we learn how to make
basic sauces which form a large part of meal presentation
in the United Kingdom. One of the most useful hot sauces
is called Béchamel Sauce, and is also known as
being made from 'A Roux' (Mixing hot butter and flour
to form a paste).
With minor adjustments of extra ingredients this sauce
is used to make:
1. White Sauce
2. Onion Sauce
3. Cheese Sauce
4. Parsley Sauce
5. Fish Sauces
Béchamel is also the base sauce used in a variety
of dishes including:
Lasagne, Tortellini, Moussaka, Cauliflower Cheese, Carrot
and Parsnip splodge, and many others.
||Dorothea Morris, Stafford, England
|Dorothea was an excellent chef and
Cordon Bleu dessert Master. Her wide range of
cookery skills spans generations, and are based
on traditional methods using local produce.
1. Sieve the flour ar least twice to
remove all lumps
2. Do not let the liquid butter burn
3. Never stop stirring until the sauce
We give two methods, the first being a very quick method
ideal for making cheese or Parsley sauce in a hurry.
The second method requires more time and although simple,
is traditional over generations.
|1. Let's get started:- Béchamel
Sauce - Quick and Easy
|Cooking Time: 3 minutes
Easy - but pay attention and keep stirring!
4oz sieved flour
1 pint whole milk
Add butter to a saucepan and melt into a gee (clarified
butter) so that it is runny but not frothy. Add the
plain flour and stir quickly until a firm paste is made.
It is very important there are no lumps whatsoever,
so this mixture needs to be thick and smooth.
Add a very little milk under low heat and stir vigorously
until incorporated fully into the mix. Repeat, gradually
increasing the amount of milk added each time as the
basic paste thins. Each time be very careful to mix
completely before adding the next amount of milk, to
ensure no lumps are present whatsoever.
Thin the sauce until the desired consistency is achieved,
remembering that as it cools slightly, so it will also
thicken a little. You may need to add more or less milk,
and this can vary each time. It is the final sauce without
lumps that matters.
To finish you can add a little salt and pepper to taste,
as well as pinches of other spices to suit your dish.
Ground nutmeg is one often added, but this has strong
flavour so only add a very little and check the taste.
Cheese Sauce - if using the Béchamel to make a cheese
sauce, then grate about 4oz cheese (Cheddar is excellent)
and add to the sauce, stirring well. Add more cheese
for a stronger flavour, and try other hard cheese such
as Lancashire for taste, Double Gloucester for colour,
and Mozzarella for Italian. Then add salt, pepper and
any other herbs or spices once the cheese sauce is completed.
2. Let's get started:- Béchamel Sauce - Traditional
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Fairly Easy - but pay attention and keep
4oz sieved flour
1 pint whole milk
Half a large Spanish Onion
8 or 10 Cloves
2 Bay leaves
Other spices to taste
The main method is virtually identical to above, but
first we need to prepare the milk by adding a little
flavour. There are many versions of this, so this is
the one used by my mother.
Peel and chop a large Spanish onion in two halves. Save
one half by wrapping in cling film and sealing in a
container in the fridge. Taking the other half, add
the cloves by inserting the pointed end into the onion
at regular intervals. 8 or 10 should be ideal.
Add to this 1 pint of milk and heat to a very slow simmer,
or about gas mark 1. Add the other ingredients immediately
after the heat is applied: 2 bay leaves, a little ground
nutmeg, and a pinch of white pepper also works well.
You can add any of the following: Mace leaf or pinch
of mace powder, 1 dozen black peppercorns, a sprig of
thyme or pinch dried thyme.
Cook the milk on low simmer for 18 minutes, then strain
to remove all the other ingredients. You will be left
with warm flavoured milk. This can be set aside for
later use, but is best used hot and freshly made.
As above; add the butter to a saucepan and heat until
it clarifies, but does not froth or burn. Add the sieved
flour and stir vigorously into a smooth paste using
a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the hot milk (80 degrees
is preferred) a very little at a time, and stirring
continuously, bring to a smooth paste. Repeat again
and again using slightly larger amounts of milk each
time. Make sure there are no lumps in the sauce before
adding the next amount of milk. You can add a little
salt and pepper to taste once the sauce is complete.
Vary the consistency by slightly varying the amount
of milk. If you added to much milk, simply leave the
mixture to simmer for a while, stirring frequently.
Béchamel is perhaps the most versatile of the
mere or four French Mother Sauces. It is seldom
used on its own, and usually forms the base for other
sauces and recipes - of which there are hundreds!
We list these other sauces and recipes on our sister
Sauces and Recipes
(Opens in new window).
This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably
supported by our friends and various internet portals.
| • White Sauce
• Onion Sauce
• Soubise Sauce (onion)
• Cheese Sauce
• Mornay Sauce (cheese)
• Cheddar cheese sauce
• Parsley Sauce
• Fish Sauces
• Nantua Sauce (crayfish)
• Prawn Sauce
• Crème Sauce (cream)
• Mustard Sauce
• Macaroni Cheese
• Cauliflower Cheese
• Carrot and Parsnip
• Caper Sauce
• Green Herb Sauce
• Mushroom Sauce