Ingredients 3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
The quantities here make a thicker sauce. If you want a thinner sauce, use 1 tablespoon of butter and flour. The trick with a good roux (the butter/flour base of your Bechamel sauce) is to keep the butter and flour in equal quantities.
Cut the butter into cubes and put in a pot on low heat to melt the cubed butter.
Once butter is melted, add flour and mix into a smooth paste, still on a low heat.
Cook for about a minute, stirring the whole time. Cooking until the floury taste has left the mixture. You can't leave a Bechamel sauce cooking on it's own to go and do something else, even if you're still in the kitchen, as it can spoil very easily if left unattended. The secret is to stir and stir until their are no lumps before adding milk.
Once it is a smooth paste, slowly start to add milk to the butter and flour mixture. Stir it in as you go so that it thickens gently into a sauce.
Stir and stir until smooth
You may need less or more than 1 cup depending on the consistency you are going for, so add milk slowly until the desired consistency is reached.
Slowly add milk
Once reached, remove this pan from the heat or it will overcook and dry out your sauce.
Remove from heat once ready so as not to overcook
This will give you a basic Bechamel sauce. Once perfected, you can experiment with flavours by adding an onion to the milk prior to using milk in the recipe, allowing the milk to take on some of the onion flavour, then discarding the onion and using onion flavoured milk.
Have fun and let us know in the comments box what you added to make this delicious and what recipes you used it in.
I like to use this type of sauce as a base for smoked fish pie. I used to use smoked snapper in NZ but in Australia I use smoked cod. Add onion, sometimes some prawns or other seafood & a little cheese for some added flavour. Vegeta powdered stock also adds flavour. If you wants something different again, leave out the cheese & add curry powder instead.