How to: make your own white sauce
- Saucepan with lid
- Balloon whisk
- Sharp knife (if using nutmeg)
- 500 ml milk
- Aromatics – all optional but all lovely: freshly ground nutmeg, parsley stalks, leek tops/half an onion, parmesan rind
- Salt & pepper
- 50 grams unsalted butter
- 90 grams plain flour
- For cheese sauce: around 100 grams strong cheese – whatever you like including cheddar, parmesan, blue cheese, even emmental, gouda – this is a great way to clear the fridge
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard optional
- Place the milk in a saucepan with any aromatics. Gently heat until about blood temperature and then leave for at least 5 minutes or up to a day.
- Remove any onion flavourings after half an hour, but leave any bay leaves/cheese rinds until you are ready to cook.
Cooking the white sauce
- Take a jug or bowl, place the colander/sieve on top. Strain any aromatics from your milk into the jug. Discard any lay leaves/leek tops. You can re-use the cheese rind, just rinse and keep in the fridge.
- Place a saucepan on the hob and melt the butter
- Add the flour and, using the balloon whisk or a fork, mix the flour in
- Splash in about 50ml of the milk and make a thick paste
- Keep on adding around 50ml of milk, whisking until all the flour/butter mixture is combined
- Bring gently to the boil and, once it’s popping gently, turn the heat down and stir occasionally for 5 minutes
- Add in the cheese/cheeses and mustard (if using)
- You can use in a lasagne, pasta bake or cauliflower cheese
- Store in a lidded container, for up to a week in the fridge or a few months in the freezer. If using from cold, you will need to warm the sauce up and give it a good stir to remove any lumps that have settled.