Bread sauce is classically eaten with roast game, turkey or chicken. Although it is now largely used almost exclusively with the Christmas turkey, it is actually a very versatile white sauce. Learn how to make bread sauce at home and enjoy it more frequently. The variations on this bread sauce recipe complement lots of dishes.
Ingredients (serves 6 to 8):
Put the onion, celery, allspice, mace and bay leaf in a pan with the milk and bring the mixture to the boil. Remove it from the heat and then half cover the pan. Put the milky mixture to one side to infuse for between 30 and 60 minutes.
Next, strain the milk and put it in a food processor or blender. Take the cloves out of the onion and throw them away. Put the onion, and celery in with the milk. Process the mixture until it is smooth. Strain the liquid into the pan again (clean the pan first).
Now, bring the mixture back to the boil. Stir the breadcrumbs in and gently simmer the mixture while whisking it (using a small whisk). Simmer until the sauce becomes thick and smooth. If the sauce is too thick, you can add some extra milk to make it thinner.
Season the sauce to your taste with the salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Wait until just before serving the sauce before whisking in the butter and cream. Serve the bread sauce warm instead of piping hot.
When using bread sauce with roast poultry, leave it plain. The plain sauce also goes well as an accompaniment to pork chops or grilled sausages. Use the following variations of this classic sauce for added versatility:
Add the rind from 1 lemon (grated) along with a decent squeeze of lemon juice when you put in the butter and cream. Serve this variation with poached chicken. Thin the sauce slightly with more milk to serve with baked fish.
Add 3 tbsp of dry sherry to the bread sauce when you put in the breadcrumbs. Then simmer the mixture and finish it as before. This sherried bread sauce goes great with grilled chicken served with bacon rolls and grilled mushrooms.
Add 1 tbsp of finely chopped tarragon, 1 tbsp of chives and 2 tbsp of finely chopped parsley to the sauce for another delicious variation.
Once you have learned this bread sauce recipe and its variations, experiment and try it with different dishes to find your favorite combinations. Far from being a boring sauce to be used once a year along with a celebratory turkey, you will find that it works well with many different meals.