A traditional accompaniment to Christmas dinner – or indeed any roast meal.
Its really great warm, or cold with leftovers. I’ve simplified the recipe from some – but it does still need cloves and nutmeg, which I appreciate are not exactly store staples. That said, I made it in China, where I couldn’t get anything but the bay leaves to flavour it with.
I know Christmas has passed, well nearly, but I am preparing a late Xmas dinner which I couldn’t have earlier. When I found out other Brits hadn’t tried it before, I thought I have to post it!
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves
- 1-2 fresh bay leaves, depending on their size
- 1 tsp. peppercorns
- 1 1 tsp. grated fresh nutmeg
- ~1 tsp salt, to taste
- 750 ml (1 1/4) pints full-fat milk
- 280 g white breadcrumbs, preferably from a stale loaf (crust trimmed)
- 35 g/11z butter
- 3 tbsp double cream, optional – but highly recommended
- Peel the onion, but leave it whole. Then stick in the cloves in it.
- Add all the ingredients up to the milk into a pan and bring to just off the boil. Then remove from the heat.
- Leave the milk and spices to infuse – for at least 1/2 hour and up to 3 hours.
- When you’re ready, strain the milk – and discard the spices and onion.
- Return the milk to the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes, until it is thick and smooth.
- Stir in the butter until melted and incorporated.
- Stir in the cream, season and serve.
The key to getting this as sooth as possible, is how finely you grate the breadcrumbs.