600 ml (1 pint) milk
1 small carrot, sliced
1 onion, quartered and stuck with 4 cloves
1 bay leaf
50 g (2 oz) butter
50 g (2 oz) flour
salt and pepper
Put the milk in a saucepan with the carrot, onion, peppercorns and bay leaf. Heat the milk over a very low heat until just below boiling point, then reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes.
Remove from the heat, cover the pan and set aside to stand and infuse for 15-30 minutes. Strain the milk, discarding the carrot, onion, spices and bay leaf.
Melt the butter in a clean saucepan, stir in the flour and beat well with a wooden spoon until a roux is formed. Gradually whisk or beat in the milk over a low heat until thickened and a smooth sauce is obtained. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Makes 600 ml (1 pint)