Homemade Béchamel Sauce

Perfect for vegetarian lasagna.


1 L whole milk
½ small onion
2 bay leaves
8 black peppercorns
¼ cup butter
¼ cup white flour
1 Tbsp liquid smoke (optional)
Salt and pepper

Heat the milk in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, watching closely, then immediately remove from heat and allow the milk to steep for about 30 minutes. Strain and compost solids.
Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the flour, whisking so it doesn’t burn. Stir with a wooden spoon to cook the flour for 2-3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and add the milk, bit by bit, starting with small drops and whisking with a balloon whisk to keep it smooth. Once you have stirred in all of the milk, return to heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens (this happens fairly quickly). Reduce heat, simmer for 3 minutes and stir in liquid smoke if using (recommended!) Season with salt and pepper.


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Having lived on the West Coast all her life, Rebecca made the move from Vancouver to Vancouver Island in 2004 to pursue her love of fine food and expressive portraiture. A food and lifestyle photographer, her work can be defined ...

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