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Classic Bechamel Sauce


  • 600ml/1½ pints milk

  • 1 onion

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 cloves

  • 6 black peppercorns

  • 55g/2oz butter

  • 55g/2oz plain flour

  • grated nutmeg (optional)


  • 1.

    Bring the milk just to the boil with the onion pierced with the bay leaf and cloves, and the peppercorns.

  • 2.

    Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes before straining.

  • 3.

    Then melt the butter in a non-stick pan, stir in the flour, and cook over a low heat for five minutes.

  • 4.

    When smooth, start adding some of the strained milk. Stir until smooth, and then add more milk until the sauce is thickened.

  • 5.

    Cook for 10-15 minutes to ensure the flour is cooked through.

  • 6.

    Sprinkle with grated nutmeg, if desired, and serve.

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