Bread Sauce. Recipe
Bread sauce is a traditional and classic accompaniment to roast turkey or chicken in British cuisine. Its origins can be traced back to medieval times when bread was frequently used as a thickening agent in sauces. Over the years, the recipe has evolved and adapted to modern tastes, but its essence remains the same - a creamy, flavorful sauce made from onions, milk, and bread.
To make a delicious homemade bread sauce, follow this simple and comforting recipe:
- 1 large onion
- 500ml whole milk
- 100g stale bread, grated
- 30g butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Start by peeling and chopping the onion into quarters.
2. In a large saucepan, add the chopped onion and cover with milk. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
3. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the milk to a gentle simmer. Cook the onion in the milk until it becomes soft and tender.
4. Once the onion is cooked, remove it from the milk and set it aside.
5. Pour the grated stale bread into the onion-infused milk. Stir well to combine, allowing the bread to absorb the milk. If the mixture seems too thick, you can add a little extra milk.
6. In a separate small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour and stir continuously for a minute or two, until the mixture forms a smooth paste known as a roux.
7. Gradually add the roux to the bread and milk mixture, stirring constantly to avoid any lumps. Continue to cook the sauce over low heat, allowing it to thicken for about 5 minutes.
8. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference.
9. For a smoother texture, you can use a blender or food processor to puree the sauce. However, this step is optional, and some prefer the rustic texture of the sauce with visible chunks of bread.
10. Serve the bread sauce warm alongside roast turkey or chicken. It is also a delightful accompaniment to other savory dishes, such as roasted vegetables or sausages.
Fun fact: Bread sauce was traditionally considered a staple of Christmas dinner in the UK, where it has been served since the 18th century. It was believed to be a symbol of wealth and prosperity, as it showcased the ability to afford bread and dairy products even during winter months.
You can modify the basic bread sauce recipe to suit your taste preferences or dietary restrictions. For a dairy-free version, substitute the milk with vegetable or chicken stock. You can also experiment with different types of bread or add extra flavors such as cloves, nutmeg, or bay leaves to enhance the sauce's aroma.
Other similar sauce dishes that you might enjoy include:
1. Cranberry sauce: A tangy and sweet sauce made from cranberries, sugar, and orange zest. It pairs perfectly with roasted meats, especially turkey.
2. Apple sauce: A fruity and mildly sweet sauce made by simmering apples with sugar and spices. It complements pork dishes exceptionally well.
3. Mint sauce: A zesty sauce made from fresh mint leaves, vinegar, and sugar. It is a classic accompaniment to roast lamb, adding a refreshing and vibrant flavor.
4. Gravy: A rich and savory sauce made from meat drippings, flour, and stock. Gravy is a versatile sauce that can be served with any roasted meat or even mashed potatoes.
These sauce dishes enhance the flavors of different meals, adding a delightful touch of taste and variety to your dining experience.