As scribbled out on the telephone many years ago..
Pour milk into a saucepan. Add onion, parsley, bay leaf, carrots, celery, peppercorns. Bring to boil and then remove from heat. Leave to infuse for at least 10 minutes. I leave for 20 minutes. Melt butter in a saucepan until sizzling and quickly remove and stir in flour. Pour hot flavoured milk through a sieve into pan whisking all the while and bring back to boil while continuing to whisk with wire whisk until sauce is smooth and thick. Simmer 2 minutes. Add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Adding freshly grated nutmeg is always good.
Heat up veggies in milk. Do not allow to boil over. Turn off heat. Steep, allowing to infuse.
Tip: I puree all my softened vegetables back into my sauce. Really gives it a flavor boost!
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs parsley
2 med onions, roughly chopped into milk
1 carrot, large (Peeled and sliced diagonally)
2 celery stalks, chopped, leaves reserved and added just before serving
2.5 ml green or black peppercorns, whole (or up to 1 tsp)
1 litre milk
120 ml (60 g) Cake flour (light sauce) ~ OR ~ 180 ml (90 g) flour (thicker sauce)
120 ml (116 g) butter (light sauce) ~ 180 ml (173 g) butter (thicker sauce)
pinch nutmeg or to taste
pinch white pepper or to taste
460 g strong cheddar cheese (Optional) Grated in once done, only if making cheese sauce.
Heat the milk in a small pot.
In a separate pot, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and saute 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the steeped vegetable milk through a sieve, stirring constantly with wire whisk. If any lumps form beat them out with electric or stick blender / beaters. Remove from heat. Add back the strained veg (discard bay leaf) and puree veggies in (softened onions, carrot, celery and whole peppercorns) until you have a smooth sauce. Season with salt and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.