About this recipe:Delicious sauce to accompany poultry or pork dishes. Although this sauce is at its classic best made shortly before it's needed, it can be made in advance if necessary. Once cooked, pour into a sealable plastic container and snap on the lid. Once completely cool, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours and then simply reheated in a saucepan over a very low heat, or in the microwave if preferred.
110g (4 oz) unsliced, day-old white bread
1 medium onion, peeled
6 to 10 whole cloves, according to taste
1 bay leaf (fresh if possible)
about 8 black peppercorns
600ml (1 pint) full-fat milk
salt and freshly milled black pepper
50g (2 oz) butter
2 tablespoons double cream
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Begin by removing the crusts from the bread. Tear bread into pieces and pop into a food processor and blend until you have fine crumbs.
Cut the onion in half and stud with the cloves.
Place the studded onion, bay leaf, peppercorns, milk and a pinch of salt into a heavy based saucepan. Over a low heat, bring almost to the boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid. Leave the mixture to infuse for a couple of hours or more.
When you are ready to make the sauce, remove the onion, bay leaf and peppercorns with a slotted spoon. Now over a medium heat, bring the milk back to simmering point and then beat in the breadcrumbs and half of the butter. Lower the heat and bring back to a gentle simmer.
Stirring frequently, cook the bread sauce for 10 to 15 minutes by which time the crumbs will have swollen and thickened the sauce.
Just before serving, beat in the remaining butter and the cream and season to taste with salt and freshly milled black pepper. Serve in a warm sauce-boat, jug or serving bowl.
I made this for a Christmas meal with friends last year. This bread sauce is the part of the meal that got most comments at the time and one friend reminded me of 'the best bread sauce I've ever eaten' only last week. - 03 Nov 2015