Cheese sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    500 ml

Appears in

Old Food

Old Food

By Jill Dupleix

Published 1998

  • About

There is not too much call for a béchamel sauce these days, unless it is in an Italian lasagne or Greek moussaka (in which case use the Greek kefalotyri cheese to flavour it). Don’t be scared to make it a light sauce, by adding as much liquid as the ‘roux’, formed from amalgamating the butter and flour, will take. Or replace the cheese with two tablespoons of finely chopped parsley, and pour over corned beef, vegetables or fish dishes.


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan or kefalotyri cheese
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Melt butter in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add flour. Return to a very low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 3 or 4 minutes until it just starts to colour; the idea being to ‘cook’ the flour so it doesn’t taste raw, without browning it. Add milk all at once, and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Allow to bubble gently for 5 minutes, until it starts to thicken. You want it thick enough to coat the spoon, rather than drippy or solid. Stir in nutmeg, cinnamon, cheese, salt and pepper, and keep warm until serving.