- 500ml whole milk
- 1 onion, halved
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves
The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…
- 50g butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 50g plain flour
Gently bring the milk to the boil in a small saucepan with the onion, studded with the bay and cloves (step 1, above). Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 20 mins.
Melt the butter in another saucepan, then add the flour. Stir continuously until a paste forms (step 2) – this is called a roux. Continue cooking for 2 mins.
Remove the onion, bay and cloves from the milk with a slotted spoon and discard. Add the infused milk to the roux gradually, stirring as you go, until you get a smooth sauce (step 3). Cook for 5-10 mins, stirring continuously, until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste.
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- Step 1Boil the bay leaf and onion
First attach the bay leaf to the onion by studding with the cloves. Add to the saucepan with the milk and slowly bring to the boil. Turn off the heat immediately and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.
- Step 2Create the roux
Melt the butter in another saucepan until it just starts foaming. Stir in the flour to create the roux, and cook for a few minutes to remove the floury taste.
- Step 3Add a little milk
Add a tiny amount of the milk, beating well until you get a smooth paste. Continue adding the milk gradually, stirring until smooth with each addition – this will ensure a lump-free sauce. Cook over a low heat for 5-10 minutes, until smooth and silky. (If any lumps do appear, beat well with a whisk.)