The bread sauce

Serves 2, also plentifully

Ingredients

250ml milk
30g butter
4 cloves
1 bay leaf, crumbled
Good pinch of salt
Freshly ground white pepper
Half a small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2tbspn double cream
75g-100g fresh white bread-crumbs
A little freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Method

Heat together the first seven ingredients until just bubbling under a simmer. Leave like this for a couple of minutes, then cover and leave to infuse. Strain the milk through a fine sieve into a clean pan and press down on the solids using a small ladle to extract all the flavours.

Reheat gently with the cream until hot, but do not boil. Whisk in the breadcrumbs (along with a little nutmeg, if using) and leave for a few moments to both allow the crumbs to swell and also to see if you may need to add any more; I like a sloppy texture but not too pourable.

Check for seasoning, then pour into a bowl, cover with a plate and keep warm over a pan of hot, but not boiling water, until needed.

 * Subcribe to Country Life; Country Life Digital Editio