Bread Sauce

There is something lovely and old fashioned about bread sauce. It’s creamy and comforting and goes incredibly well with roast turkey. @nigellalawson really comes into her own at Christmas with so many amazing festive recipes. Below is her version which looks like you will have plenty leftover for Boxing Day cold cuts.


Serves: 10-16 with turkey as part of the Christmas feast



METRIC

CUPS

800 grams good-quality white loaf (sliced thickly and left to stale overnight, see below) 1 litre full fat milk 1 onion 4 cloves 2 bay leaves 1 teaspoon whole white peppercorns 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes or 1 teaspoon table salt 2 mace blades or heaped 1/4 teaspoon ground mace 30 grams butter 2 tablespoons double cream (optional) fresh nutmeg



METHOD

The day before you make this, slice the bread thickly, cut off the crusts (not with too much dedication, as a few bits of brown crust won't matter) and lay the slices on a rack to stale. And as you don't need the 2 end-crusts for the sauce, I'd eat these while they're nice and fresh. I'm afraid I often end up eating the strips of discarded crusts from the slices, too (with a thick layer of butter and a thin one of Marmite).If you've forgotten to stale the bread, or don't have time, you can speed the process by putting the slices in a very low oven until they feel dry to the touch (though not toasted) - but just don't forget they're there.On Christmas Day, though you could make this before, prepare the sauce, which is scarcely hard work. Put the milk into a pan. Peel and quarter the onion, stud each quarter with a clove, and drop them, as you do so, into the pan of milk. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns and the blades of mace (or sprinkle the ground mace over) along with the salt and bring to an almost boil, but do not let it boil.Remove from the heat, cover the pan and let it foggily infuse.Tear the slices of bread into rough cubes over a bowl, so you catch all the crumbs, too.When you're not far off serving up, put the pan back on a very low heat, add the bread cubes and cook for about 15 minutes, by which time the sauce should be thick and warm and evocatively fragrant. I have to say I don't bother with removing any of the bits - the onions, the peppercorns and so on - but you can strain the milk before adding the bread if you want to.Just before serving, stir in the butter and, if you happen to have a carton open, the cream (otherwise, splosh in a little more milk) and some more salt if you think it needs it. Grate over quite a bit of nutmeg, adding more once you've decanted it into a warmed bowl or gravy boat.