For Thanksgiving or Christmas (or anytime), consider reviving an old tradition which has just about vanished completely — bread sauce.
Bread sauce was always a classic accompaniment to pork or chicken. In fact, in past times when poultry dinners were on the table people would have looked forward to both bread stuffing and bread sauce on the table, and felt cheated if both weren’t.
Bread sauce is considered one of the typical “trimmings” for Christmas lunch in the UK (though some might argue that it’s not “core” but “second-tier”, along with chipolatas, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire pudding, etc.
Bread sauce can be a thin, pouring sauce, or a thick, spooning sauce that like bread stuffing, is basically a very flavourful, filling “mush” based on bread. This recipe is for the thick version.
Bread Sauce Recipe
- In a saucepan, place cloves, onion, milk, peppercorns, parsley, nutmeg, salt and any additional flavourings you wish.
- Bring just to a boil, then reduce immediately to a very, very low simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand to infuse for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Strain the milk into a bowl (discard the onion, etc.) Place bread in the saucepan, and pour milk back in along with the dried parsley. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently. This is a spooning sauce, so if it is too thick or too runny add more milk or bread accordingly.
- Do not let boil. If it is ready too soon, the lower heat right down and cover, giving it a stir frequently. If you have cream on hand, you can stir in a tablespoon of cream a few minutes before serving.
- Traditionally served with poultry, but also very nice with pork if you add a few more cloves.
Bread sauce recipes date back to medieval times, if not more. Signs of the age of this sauce are (1) bread being used as a thickener, as well as (2) the use of cloves in a non-dessert dish.  Arthurs, Deborah. Battle of the cut-price Christmas dinners. London: Daily Mail. 2 December 2013.
“Mint Sauce with lamb and Bread Sauce for poultry and game, a Scottish discovery, I believe, are among the most glorious treasures of our national (British) fare.” — Philip Morton Shand: A Book of Food. 1927.
|↑1||Arthurs, Deborah. Battle of the cut-price Christmas dinners. London: Daily Mail. 2 December 2013.|