This is a fine French white sauce, now very much served at good English tables. It may be made in various ways, and more or less expensively; but it should always be thick, smooth, and rich, though delicate in flavour. The most ready mode of preparing it, is to take an equal proportion of very strong, pale veal gravy, and of good cream (a pint of each, for example), and then by rapid boiling over a very-clear fire, to reduce the gravy nearly half; next, to mix with part of the cream a tablespoonful of fine dry flour, to pour it to the remainder, when it boils, and to keep the whole stirred for five minutes or more over a slow fire, for if placed upon a fierce one, it would be liable to burn; then to add the gravy, to stir and mix the sauce perfectly, and to simmer it for a few minutes longer. All the flavour should be given by the gravy, in which French cooks boil a handful of mushrooms, a few green onions, and some branches of parsley before it is reduced: but a good béchamel may be made without them, with a strong con-sommée. (See pale veal gravy, page 85) well reduced.
Strong pale veal gravy (flavoured with mushrooms or not), 1 pint: reduced half. Rich cream, 1 pint; flour, 1 tablespoonful: 5 minutes. With gravy, 4 or 5 minutes.
Velouté, which is a rather thinner sauce or gravy, is made by simply well reducing the cream and stock separately, and then mixing them together without any thickening.
Cut half a pound of veal, and a slice of lean ham into small dice, and stew them in butter, with vegetables, as directed in the foregoing receipt : stir in the same proportion of flour, then add the milk, and let the sauce boil very gently for an hour. It should not be allowed to thicken too much before it is strained.
Common bechamel, with the addition of a spoonful of made-mustard, is an excellent sauce for boiled mutton.