Bread sauce

Serves 8
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Bread sauce is not the easiest sauce to get right; creating a beautifully silky texture, as well as the right balance of cloves, nutmeg and onion, is crucial. I have tweaked this recipe a few times over the years to get it just right.

This sauce would definitely benefit from boiling in the bag: no burnt pans, and no skin, either.

1 small onion, peeled and halved
60g butter
6 cloves
1 large bay leaf
500ml full fat milk
A good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Finely chop half the onion; cook gently in half the butter. Stud the other half with the cloves, pushing them through the bay leaf to anchor it.

Put the milk, nutmeg and studded onion in the saucepan with the cooked onion; bring to the boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Remove from the heat; leave the sauce to infuse for an hour or so. Take out; discard the studded onion. Add the breadcrumbs and return the sauce to a low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour a quarter of the bread sauce from the pan into a blender and liquidise, return to the pan and add the remaining 30g butter. Stir until the sauce has amalgamated; check the seasoning.