Basic White Sauce
|Milk||1⁄2 Pint (300 Milliliter)|
|Butter||1 Ounce (30 Grams)|
|Plain flour||3⁄4 Ounce (20 Grams)|
|White pepper||To Taste|
If time permits, infuse the milk with a bay leaf, a piece of celery stalk, slice of onion or lemon, a I few peppercorns and a sprig of thyme — these [ will give you the basis of a worthwhile sauce.
Bring the milk and flavourings very slowly to the point where bubbles appear around the edge of the pan, turn off the heat and allow to cool before straining.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then add the flour and stir to blend.
Cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, taking care not to allow the mixture to brown.
Take the pan off the heat and strain in the flavoured milk.
Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens and is smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.
Continue to cook over a low heat for 2-3 minutes.
If you are not using the sauce immediately, cover the surface with plastic wrap which will prevent a skin forming.
Check the seasoning again before serving; you can give the sauce extra gloss and flavour if you whisk in a few knobs of butter; a few walnut-sized pieces will polish as much as 600 ml/1 pint of sauce.
This recipe gives a sauce of coating consistency.
If you prefer it thinner, add a little more milk or, better still, some single cream.
If it needs to be thicker, cook it for a few minutes over a medium heat (stirring frequently, or it will stick) until the correct consistency is reached.