Homemade Simple Eggless Bearnaise Sauce

Having to make another sauce just so that it becomes another ingredient sounds like a hassle. I used to think the same but since I had a go at making it, I haven't been buying any instant ones; it really isn't that difficult. But of course, I'm not a pro so I'm only doing the simplest option I can manage, and with the result that my family can accept 😀

Ingredients:
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons flour
200ml fresh milk (I never used skimmed or low fat - yuck!)
Salt and/or freshly ground pepper (optional)

Preparation:
  1. Heat the milk with 1 bay leaf and some sprinkle of salt and pepper, till just before boiling. Remove from heat and put aside, with lid on.
  2. In another saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan on low. When the butter has melted but not bubbling, mix in 2 tablespoons of plain flour with a whisk (I like using a small silicone one as it gets to the corner of the pan) until it becomes a smooth paste.
  3. Fish the bay leaf out of the milk and slowly tip it into the butter paste, a little at a time, and keep stirring to avoid clumps. Heat the sauce on medium to low heat whilst stirring with the whisk, till the sauce is smooth and silky. If it's too thick just add a little milk, and if too runny, a little more flour. Season with pepper if desire.
I use it as a condiment in making lasagne and pasta bakes. Sometimes I'd add in other herbs like rosemary or thyme, and seasoning to make it a sauce for steak or fish.

In the past I had been lazy a couple of times and use cold milk instead of heating it first, but found that cold milk will actually re-solidify the butter and make the cooking process more difficult.

This can be made a few hours ahead, just need to stir it again to regain the silkiness before use. Some say you can freeze it for future use but I have never tried it. Not sure if the consistency would be the same. After all it's really not that difficult to make, and I need my freezer space for other more "freezable" things.


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