Ingredients3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1/4 cup minced yellow onion 5 cups milk, warm Salt, as needed Ground black or white pepper, as needed Freshly grated nutmeg, as needed (optional)
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and butter. Add the…
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
- 5 cups milk, warm
- Salt, as needed
- Ground black or white pepper, as needed
- Freshly grated nutmeg, as needed (optional)
- In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 6 minutes (see note).
- Add the flour, stirring to combine, and cook until light brown to form a white roux, about 2 minutes.
- Gradually add the milk to the pan, stirring or whisking to work out any lumps. Bring the mixture to a full boil, then reduce the heat to low to establish a simmer. Simmer until the sauce has thickened and the starchy feel and taste of the flour have cooked away, about 30 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently and skim as necessary.
- Season the sauce with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg, if using, and strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Return the sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Use immediately or refrigerate for later use.
Chef’s Note:You can also make the roux first and set it aside for later. In that case, simply reverse Steps 1 and 2, and add the milk once the roux is hot.
Variations:Cheddar Cheese Sauce: After straining, return to the pan and stir in 4 oz grated sharp Cheddar as the sauce simmers over low heat. Cream Sauce: Add 1/2 cup heated heavy cream to the finished sauce and simmer over low heat for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Mornay Sauce: After straining, return to the pan and add 2 oz each grated Gruyère and Parmesan. Finish with up to 4 tablespoons of butter if desired.
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