How to make a white sauce
To make a white sauce
Heat 3 cups milk until just scalded. Melt 50g butter in a saucepan, add 1/4 cup of flour and stir continuously for 3 minutes to cook. Whisk in the hot milk in stages, whisking until smooth each time, then use a wooden spoon to stir and simmer the sauce 5-7 minutes until it resembles thick cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper or mustard powder and remove from heat to cool.
Added flavour and storage
- Add more flavour to white sauce by adding a small onion studded with a few cloves, 1 tsp peppercorns and 2 bay leaves to the milk as it heats up.
- White sauce can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Once made, add a knob of butter to the cooling sauce, enough to melt across the top of the sauce. This will prevent a hard skin forming once it is cooled. (If you put a lid on as it’s cooling, the condensation formed should do the same.)
A batch of white sauce in the fridge means you can:
- Make smoked fish or mushrooms on toast, topped with parsley, lemon zest and juice.
- Mix it with grated cheese and chopped onion (or pineapple) and make ham or tuna and cheese toasted sandwiches.
- Add a tasty cheese and smother on top of cooked cauliflower, broccoli or brussels sprouts and grill until golden as a side dish.
- Mix it through leftover cooked chicken and vegetables, or add plenty of sauteed mushrooms, onion, garlic and fresh herbs to make creamy pies.
- Add it to mashed potatoes and mix with cooked salmon, chilli, spring onions and dill to make fishcakes, rolled in some of your homemade breadcrumbs before frying.
- Thin it out with a little cream, white wine or vermouth, then simmer smoked chicken breasts in it for a sauce to serve on tagliatelle tossed with parsley, capers or green olives.