August 16, 2022

How to make white sauce

“How to make white sauce, stretch a meal, and how you can flavour it to make different sauces.”

With prices rising we are all trying to stretch the food we have. Putting food in a sauce makes it go a lot further, and can also add lots of flavour. I used to be rubbish at making a white sauce. It was always lumpy and sometimes I would have to sieve it. A chef then told me to use a hand whisk (not electric) instead of a wooden spoon and now I find them easy and they come out perfectly.

Recipe for basic sauce.

  • 1oz butter (or marg)

  • 1oz flour

  • 1/2 pt milk if making a thicker sauce, but you can add more milk if you want a thinner sauce).

  • Salt and pepper to taste.

  1. Gently heat the butter.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour.
  3. Put back on the heat and cook for one minute, whisking. Do not let it brown.
  4. Take off the heat and gently whisk in the milk.
  5. Bring to boil, whisking, and cook until thickens. Add a bit more milk and whisk if too thick.

Some people will make the sauce without taking it off the heat but this prevents it burning and is a good way to learn.

You can then make lots of variations to this sauce.

  1. CHEESE SAUCE.Stir in a couple of oz of grated cheese and a tsp of mustard when thickened.
  2. ONION SAUCE. Boil an onion or two, chop and add to the sauce with a little bit of the stock.
  3. PARSLEY SAUCE. Add some chopped parsley to the sauce (a squeeze of lemon too is nice with fish).
  4. MUSTARD SAUCE. Blend 1 tsp dry mustard with the flour and make as normal.
  5. MUSHROOM SAUCE. Cook 2 oz mushrooms in the milk before making the sauce with it. You then add the chopped mushrooms and cook for 30 seconds to reheat them.
  6. HORSERADISH SAUCE. Whisk 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 dessertspoon of horseradish into the white sauce.
  7. CREAM OF TOMATO. Heat some tomato puree and then whisk it into the white sauce.
  8. CREAM OF CHICKEN. Add a chicken stock cube dissolved in a little bit of warm water, or use less milk and add some chicken stock.

There are also many other sauces you could also make like caper sauce, anchovy sauce.

Adding these sauces to small amounts of meat or vegetables means that a portion that would feed one can then feed two or more people. You can use the sauces with pasta, rice, in a pie or pasties, on toast, below mashed potato or to stop fish or meat being dry. The list is endless. It is such a versatile way to stretch food. What are your favourite dishes to make with a white sauce?

How to make white sauce stretch a meal.

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