- 2 cups milk
- 2 cloves
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- Thyme, a sprig
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 T butter
- 3 T flour
- 1⁄4 t nutmeg, finely grated
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a small saucepan, scald the milk with the cloves, onion, carrot, thyme and bay leaves. Allow to infuse for 30 minutes, then strain.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the flour and increase the heat to medium. Whisk for 1 minute.
Gradually add the milk, whisking between each addition. When the sauce begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook until the sauce thickens and the flour has cooked out.
Season with nutmeg, salt and white pepper and strain. Keep warm and covered until ready to use.
Cook's note: A roux usually whisked with milk, béchamel can be a little bland on its own, so is often used in other dishes such as chicken pie or macaroni cheese where you need a thick sauce.