Preparing The Best Bechamél Sauce Ever

Bechamel sauce for traditional European dishes.
Copyright: mizina

One of the basic sauces in haute cuisine and a typical white sauce which is made using milk as its main distinguishing ingredient. It was one of the five main sauces referenced by the great French chef Escoffier. 

The other major white sauce is sauce velouté which is made with white meat stock (never milk by definition).  Bechamel is one to be mastered because of its versatility. If you ever make lasagne then you are making this sauce and no other. There are ready made versions of Bechamél Sauce to try if you do not have the time but without beating you over the head with this, it should be feasible to make an exceptional one from scratch.

The recipe below is based on various updated 19th century versions that existed at the time.

Vegan versions of bechamel sauce rely on soy proteins, onion, gums and other flavourings to replace the dairy ingredients that form its base.

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Equipment:

Ingredients For Bechamel Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (31g) all-purpose flour… it should be at least 2 tablespoons
  •  cups (610 ml) whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (132 g) shredded provolone or ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup (50 g) grated Parmesan cheese
  •  salt and pepperto taste.

Preparation:

  • In your heavy-bottomed saucepan placed over medium heat, melt the butter.
  • Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour turns light brown and there is  a slightly nutty aroma.
  • Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly.
bechamel. Stir the creamy sauce in a pan with a Wooden spatula
Copyright: kariphoto
  • Once all of the milk has been incorporated, whisk in the nutmeg, and allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Once simmering, cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  • Remove from the heat, and add the shredded provolone a handful at a time, stirring until it melts. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Original 1st September 2011, Revised 18th February 2022 including references to vegan white sauce. 

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1 Comment

  1. I really enjoyed this sauce. Good recipe and it uses a high quality cheese in provolone which is so much better.

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