On Christ­mas Eve, place 30 peeled shal­lots in a large bain-marie or dou­ble saucepan. Pour over two pints of full fat milk, and sprin­kle some cloves. Bring up to a sim­mer, then turn down the heat so it is just off the boil. Put the lid on and leave to in­fuse, stir­ring ev­ery cou­ple of hours. Turn off the heat overnight. On Christ­mas Day morn­ing, bring it up to the boil again, then strain through a sieve, press­ing the onion mash down so the juices are squeezed into the milk. Add half the bread­crumbs, stir well then add more crumbs un­til it has reached the de­sired consistency (about 125g in all). Plenty of salt, freshly ground pep­per and a splash of dou­ble cream, and you have bread sauce fit for a king.

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