My National

My National

Bread sauce: it's just not Christmas without it

  |  December 17, 2012

For me, Christmas dinner just isn't Christmas dinner without bread sauce.

Indeed, roast chicken or turkey at any time of the year must be served with bread sauce.

In fact, I love the sauce so much, I have been known to return home from the chip shop and make bread sauce to dip my chips in.

For those of you unfamiliar with bread sauce, it is just that: a sauce made from bread. The traditional British accompaniment, a survivor of Medieval sauces that were thickened with bread, commonly adorns Christmas dinner tables.

The last time I made it from scratch, I didn't think it had as much flavour as some of the packet mixes that you just add milk to (Marks & Spencer's is particularly delicious).

But this year, I decided to try the home-made version again and see what happened. After all, it is very easy to make.

I found a recipe by Gordon Ramsay and added a couple of extra ingredients, such as a dash of ground nutmeg and a splash of cream, and it turned out rather well. If you've never had bread sauce before, I urge you to try it out this Christmas. You won't regret it!

Bread sauce adapted from Gordon Ramsay
Ingredients:
one onion, halved
2 bay leaves
6 cloves
600ml full-fat milk
200g white breadcrumbs (preferably a little stale, and crust removed)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
splash of cream
knob of butter
salt and pepper, to taste
Method:
Push the cloves through the bay leaves to stud them on to the onion halves. Place the onion in a saucepan and pour over the milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring the milk to the boil then remove from the heat. Cover the milk and onion and leave to infuse, for at least half an hour.
Meanwhile, blitz the bread into fine crumbs. Remove the onion from the milk (strain the milk through a sieve if necessary) and bring the milk back to a simmer.
Gradually stir in the breadcrumbs until you have a thick, creamy consistency. Add the nutmeg, a splash of double cream and a knob of butter and stir.
Check the seasoning and serve hot with the turkey and trimmings.