La béchamel is one of the best sauce ever. It’s made with a roux of butter and flour cooked in milk and it’s one of the staples of the French Cuisine. You’ll taste it on the Croque Monsieur, layered with meat sauce in Lasagne, in the oven baked pasta (pasta pasticciata), on baked crepes and ever as and add-on to gratin and make veggies tastier.
Notes for a perfect béchamel:
- You should either have a hot roux paste to which you add cold milk or a cold roux paste to which you add hot milk.
- You can control the thickness of the sauce by changing the thickening ratio of grams of roux per liter of milk. The thickening ratios for a roux-based sauce are as follows:
- Soup Ratio (see Velouté or Eggs Farcis Chimay): 80gr roux / 1 lt of milk
- Nappé Ratio (see Veggies au gratin): 110gr roux / 1 lt of milk
- Gratin Ratio: 180 gr roux / 1 lt of milk
- Croquette Ratio (see Allumette de Fromage): 280 gr roux / 1 lt of milk
- 1 lt of milk
- 60 gr of flour
- 60 gr of butter
- A pinch of nutmeg
- A pinch of salt and pepper
>> You could also infuse the milk with an oignon piqué (tack a bay leaf to half an onion using two whole cloves). In that case, use a cold roux paste and hot milk. <<
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
- Next, whisk in the flour and stir continuously for 5 minutes. When it bubbles and looks like a cauliflower-y consistency, your roux is ready.
- Pour the cold milk into the saucepan and whisk continuously.
- Increase the heat to medium and stir until you get a smooth sauce.
- Cool down or pour straight onto your dish and enjoy