Every year at the holidays there’s always a debate about which gravy to make. You can make gravy from turkey giblets, but what if you didn’t plan ahead for that? Or what if you’re having chicken instead? This traditional English bread sauce is the perfect solution since you can make it up with things you most likely have on hand already and it takes very little effort to accomplish.
This simple milk gravy starts by simmering milk with a halved, peeled onion, some whole cloves and peppercorns, and a few spices to round out the flavor. This recipe calls for mace which I didn’t find at my nearest grocery. I added in a bit of white pepper and ginger instead and it turned out terrific! Once this has simmered and then cooled strain it and return it to the pan.
Next add in your breadcrumbs. Some say that a high quality day-old bread dried in the oven is the only way to go. Personally I like the fine texture of store-bought breadcrumbs and of course I used the Italian herb variety to get a little extra flavor into the sauce.
You can choose either and the sauce will still thicken perfectly. Just don’t use fresh white sandwich bread as it’s too soft and contains too much moisture.
Then the final step is to add some richness with heavy cream and some butter.
This sauce goes perfectly over turkey and chicken for a warming taste of home cooking from across the pond. For a little richness and flavor this bread sauce is a wonderful accompaniment to a special meal.
Traditional Bread Sauce
25m prep time
12m cook time
- 1 large onion, peeled and halved
- 6 whole cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 black peppercorns
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Add onion, cloves, mace, nutmeg, bay leaf, peppercorns, and milk to pan. Heat over medium-high heat and allow to simmer to 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Strain liquid then return milk mixture to pan. Heat over medium-low and add bread crumbs. Allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cream. Stir until melted then add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve over turkey, chicken, or potatoes while still hot.
Recipe adapted from BBC Food.