Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
A light cheese sauce used to dress up meats or vegetable dishes. (source: LeCordon Bleu Professional Cooking)
- 2 ounces clarified butter
- 2 ounces bread flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1⁄2 small onion, peeled
- 1 whole clove
- 1⁄2 small bay leaf
- white pepper
- 4 ounces grated gruyere cheese
- 2 ounces parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
- 2 ounces raw butter
- hot milk or appropriate stock
- Make a Bechamel sauce as follows: Heat clarified butter in medium size saucepan.
- Whisk in bread flour and stir and cook over low heat until light cream color, but at least 1 minute.
- Cool slightly.
- In another saucepan, scald the milk.
- Gradually add milk to the roux (flour and butter mixture) beating constantly with whisk.
- Bring sauce to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat to a simmer.
- Stick the bay leaf to the onion with the clove.
- Place onion in sauce.
- Simmer at least 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Season very lightly with salt, nutmeg and white pepper.
- Strain through a china cap.
- Place plastic wrap on sauce to prevent formation of skin.
- Cool in cold water bath and store in freezer in ziplock bags for later use, or keep warm over warm water bath for use in dishes being currently prepared.
- To 1 qt of the bechamel over low heat add the gruyere and parmesan cheeses, stirring in until just melted.
- Remove from heat and gently stir in the 2 oz raw butter.
- Thin out with the hot milk or stock appropriate to the dish being served if necessary.
This sauce is spectacular! It's not easy, but it is GOOD. We have a bay tree growing as a house plant so I used a fresh bay leaf (one whole). I also took the rare (for me) step of weighing the ingredients. I usually don't like cheese sauces, but this one was great. I used it to make Hot Browns, hint hint, nudge nudge.
this is indeed the traditional french sauce. i added some catenne and served it over a combo of asparagus, red pepper, petit green beans and baby carrots, sauteed. excellent side dish to chicken