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Sunday Cooking Lesson: Béchamel Sauce - A Family Feast

Sunday Cooking Lesson: Béchamel Sauce (Classic French Version)

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1/2 quarts


Adapted from The Professional Chef


  • 1 cup clarified butter
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 fluid ounces clarified butter
  • 2 ounces minced onions
  • 4½ quarts whole milk
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • Grated nutmeg


  1. In a medium sauté pan melt over medium heat, add clarified butter and once hot, stir in flour with a wooden spoon. Heat and stir for about three minutes to form a “white roux”. The color will be barley colored and chalky. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a sauce pan, heat milk to scalding but do not boil.
  3. In a larger pan, heat two tablespoons of clarified butter over low to moderate heat and add onions. Cook for 6-8 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the white roux from the first step and stir to combine. Cook until very hot, about two minutes.
  5. Add the hot milk one third at a time, whisking during each addition. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook 30 minutes.
  6. Add seasoning to taste.
  7. Strain through a double cheese cloth and serve or hold refrigerated for other sauces or dishes.