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béchamel - Defined with Recipes

béchamel—Name of a white sauce composed of reduced chicken broth with some essence of mushrooms, an equal quantity of rich milk or cream, boiled up, thickened with flour and butter, seasoned with salt, lemon juice and grated nutmeg, then strained for use.


This is made by preparing a roux of butter and flour, and letting it cook for a few minutes while stirring, not allowing it to color in the slightest; remove it to a slower fire and leave it to continue cooking for a quarter of an hour, then dilute it gradually with half-hoilcd milk and half veal blond.

Stir the liquid on the fire until it boils, then mingle in with it a mirepoix of roots and onions, fried separately in butter, some mushroom peelings and a bunch of parsley; set it on a slower fire and let it cook for twenty-five minutes without ceasing to stir, so as to avoid its adhering to the bottom; it must be rather more consistent than light.

Strain it through a fine sieve through a tammy into a vessel, and allow it to cool off while continuing to stir; set it aside for further use.

Sauce béchamel—béchamel Sauce.

Originally, this sauce was a velouté reduced with cream; big chunks of veal were cooked in the sauce, and its preparation was all except economic.

Modern practice proceeds more systematically. béchamel is to-day neither more nor less than a cream sauce. It is more wholesome than velouté, and is prepared with boiled milk, although a part of cream may be used. The same directions as for Velouté may be followed.

Simmer the sauce gently for 1 1/2. to 2 hours, flavor with a faggot of herbs, 2 onions, one of them stuck with 3 cloves, and 1 carrot. Season with salt and a pinch of sugar; strain and put aside for further use.

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Vintage Culinary Terms - "B"