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“This recipe comes from Liz Upton's excellent blog, Definitely give her site a visit when you have some time. This is a superb rendition of this classic sauce, which can often be bland if not made well. Béchamel is the foundation of many other classic sauces, including Mornay, Soubise, Nantua, and Mustard sauce. For the parsley, use the stems as well, as there is a lot of flavor in them. I do not chop the parsley, because this causes the sauce to turn more of a greenish color, but if you don't mind a green sauce, chop away. The "Preparation Time" includes the time needed to infuse the milk.”
2hrs 15mins
1 pint

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Start a few hours before you mean to make up the sauce by infusing the milk. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the cleaned parsley, bay, chopped carrot, peeled and chopped shallots, cloves and whole peppercorns to the pan. Bring the pan to a gentle simmer, turn the heat off, put the lid on and leave in a warm place for at least two hours.
  2. When you are ready to make the sauce, strain the milk into a jug and discard the bits of herb, shallot and spices. Melt the butter over a low heat in a clean, dry saucepan, and sprinkle over the flour. Stir with a whisk until the flour and melted butter are combined smoothly in a glossy paste – this is your roux. Be careful not to allow the butter or flour to brown.
  3. Stirring all the time, add a small amount of milk to the roux, continuing to stir until the milk is absorbed into the roux and you have a thick, uniform mixture. Add another small amount of milk, and repeat until about half the milk is incorporated. Add the rest of the milk in larger amounts, whisking as you go, and continue to cook very gently until you have a thick and glossy sauce. When all the milk is incorporated, keep cooking for about five minutes to cook out any raw flour taste. Take a teaspoon of the sauce and taste it to adjust for the amount of salt you want.
  4. If you need to keep the finished sauce warm, you can avoid the formation of a skin on top by melting a small amount of butter, floating it on top of the sauce and stirring it in when you come to serve, or by floating a piece of cling film on the sauce.

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