Mrs. Beeton is the Victorian publisher, known as the Original Domestic Goddess. Her version of béchamel incorporated infused vegetables. If you eat low carb you can substitute the milk for equal parts chicken stock and cream which was how it was originally made.
Mrs. Beeton's Marvelous Béchamel Sauce
- 2 cups milk or 50/50 chicken stock and cream
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 1/2 small carrot peeled and diced
- 1 tsp. black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. unbleached white flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch nutmeg freshly grated
- Add the milk, onion, carrot, peppercorns, bay leaf and cloves to a medium saucepan and heat on medium. Bring to a simmer then remove from the heat. Cover with a lid and leave for at least 30 minutes to infuse the flavors.
- Next make a roux. Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and keep stirring for 5 minutes until the mixture starts to foam and gives up a nice toasty aroma. Don't let the flour burn. Take the roux off the stove.
- Reheat the milk mixture and strain through a fine sieve, discarding the vegetables.
- Place the roux back onto a gentle heat and whisk a little of the hot milk into it, whisking until fully incorporated. Continuing slowly adding the milk, whisking all the time until all the milk has been used. Cook for another 5 minutes until the sauce is glossy, silky and free of lumps. Season with salt and nutmeg to taste.
- You can store this sauce in the fridge for up to 4 days; simply cover the surface with cling film.