While store bought béchamel sauce could come in handy, making it at home is so so simple, quick and flavorsome that you won’t ever need to buy it again. This week I will be introducing several delicious recipes that require béchamel sauce, so for this How-To-Wednesday, here’s the simple step by step recipe to the best homemade béchamel sauce ever.
- 50g butter
- 50g flour
- 50g milk
- Salt & pepper
How to Make It
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat
Stir in the flour and mix continuously and dry the roux for about 2 minutes
Whisk in the milk gradually, stirring continuously until you have a smooth, slightly think sauce
Remove from the heat and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg
If the sauce is too thick, do not hesitate to add more milk until you reached the desired texture
Music by Bensounds
Some credit La Varenne with inventing Béchamel, but did he? A half a century before La Varenne, Marie de Medici came to France as the bride of Henry IV. Daughter of the wealthy and cultured Medici family of Florence, Marie brought an immense dowry with her, including chefs who made a very Béchamel-like sauce had been used in Tuscany and Emiglia Romagna for hundreds of years. Antonin Carème, who later designated Béchamel one of the cornerstone mother sauces, acknowledged in 1822 that, “The cooks of the second half of the 1700’s came to know the taste of Italian cooking that Catherine de’Medici introduced to the French court.”
Credit for inventing the sauce is also frequently given to the Duke de Mornay, a provincial governor and apparent gourmet who is also cited as the inventor of Mornay sauce, a Béchamel cheese sauce containing Gruyère and Parmesan.
Another contender, the Marquise Louis de Béchamel, a wealthy financier with no known culinary expertise at all. He was, however, a contemporary of La Varenne’s, a favorite of Louis XIV, and a well-known member of the King’s court. It is more likely that the sauce was named in his honor than that he created it himself.
All things considered, it seems most likely that the original Béchamel was created by a nameless chef in northern Italy, modernized by La Varenne, and lifted to fame by Carème.All things considered, it seems most likely that the original Béchamel was created by a nameless chef in northern Italy, modernized by La Varenne, and lifted to fame by Carème.