Cream Sauce from the Golden Age of Rail

Susan Feliciano


This recipe is attributed to Fred Harvey, who began a chain of eateries along western railroad lines in the 1870s. They precede the advent of the luxury dining car. Harvey Houses became famous for their good food, and for their wholesome and chaste servers, who came to be known as "Harvey Girls."
~ from the book "Dining By Rail," by James D. Porterfield, 1993, St. Martin's Press, New York.

pinch tips: How to Use a Whisk



4 cups


5 Min


30 Min


Stove Top


1/2 c
butter or chicken fat
1/2 c
all purpose flour
3 c
whole milk
1 c
chicken stock
1 and 2 quart saucepans, double boiler, strainer

Directions Step-By-Step

In the 2-quart saucepan, make a roux using the butter and flour; bring to a light brown color, about 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine milk and chicken stock in the smaller saucepan and heat just to boiling. Pour hot milk/stock mixture slowly into roux, stirring constantly with a whisk to prevent lumps. Cook over lowest heat for 30 minutes.
Strain sauce into the top of a preheated double boiler, place a dab of butter on top to prevent crust from forming, and set aside until needed.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Gravies, Other Sauces
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: Southern
Other Tag: Heirloom