A versatile sauce that is worth mastering.


  • 1 tblsp butter or margarine
  • 1 tblsp plain flour (sieved)
  • 0.5 a pint of milk (semi-skimmed is fine)
  • 4 oz grated hard cheese (such as cheddar or double gloucester, add extra cheese for a thicker or cheesier sauce)
  • salt (to taste)
  • fresh ground black pepper (optional)


  • First, gently melt the butter or margarine in a saucepan over a low heat. Exercise some patience, and keep the heat low, or the butter will burn, and will make your sauce taste nasty.
  • Next, add the sieved flour and mix to form a smooth paste.
  • Now very gradually add the milk a little at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition to keep the sauce smooth. Any lumps now, and you may as well give up! After initially becoming thick, the paste will become thin and smooth as you add more milk.
  • Add your salt and pepper as required, then slightly raise the heat (do not boil) and sprinkle in your grated cheese, stirring constantly.
  • Once the cheese has melted (raise the heat a little more if necessary), bring the sauce to the boil, stirring constantly. Allow the sauce a minute or so to thicken, then reduce the heat, and stir occasionally.


Kevin's tips: Add in your milk slowly to avoid lumps. Use an extra strong cheese so the flavour comes through.