“With great pow(d)er comes great responsibility”
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 35 g butter
- 35 g plain flour
- 200 ml milk – I use skimmed but any type is fine
- 100 ml chicken stock – or ½ chicken stock cube with 100ml water
- 1 tbsp brandy
- 15 g (4 tsp) Tellicherry Black Peppercorns – vary this according to how powerful you want your sauce to be
Follow these steps:
Crack the black peppercorns (15g) in a pestle and mortar (if you don’t have one, you can crack them with a knife blade). Make sure that the peppercorns are cracked, but do not over-grind, otherwise the sauce will lose its intense peppery flavour.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter on a low heat.
Once the butter is fully melted, gradually add the flour. After each addition mix well to ensure it is fully combined with the butter. As a result you should have a thick smooth paste.
Cook the butter and flour mix for a couple of minutes stirring regularly. This step is important to cook the flour, otherwise your sauce will have that odd floury taste.
Once done, add the brandy and mix well to combine with the butter and flour, keeping the heat low.
After that add gradually the milk, mixing well with a whisk after each addition to combine all ingredients together and break any lump left.
Once you have an homogeneous sauce without lumps, add the chicken stock, season with pepper and a pinch of salt (approx. ¼tsp). Keep cooking to very low heat to reduce the sauce, to your favourite consistency.
If you don’t use all the sauce just prepared in your meal, pour it into a jug and cover it with a clingfilm, making sure you push the clingfilm down into the dish until it touches and covers the sauce. This will prevent the sauce to form that odd skin on top.
Before serving again, heat it on low heat for a couple of minutes until warm. If it gets too thick while warming, add some milk to loosen.