Buttery shallot bread sauce

This bread sauce has flavour layered up from the very start ,with almost-melting shallots, herbs and spices

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:25 mins
  • Serves 8
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 174
  • fat 12g
  • saturates 6g
  • carbs 14g
  • sugars 4g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 5g
  • salt 0.43g


  • 50g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 shallots, finely sliced (see tip, below)
  • 6 cloves
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf, plus extra to serve
  • 600ml full-fat milk
  • pinch white pepper
  • 100g fresh white breadcrumbs, from a good-quality loaf
  • 5 tbsp single or double cream, plus more to serve, if you like
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste


Prepare ahead
Can be made 3 days in advance and chilled. To reheat, warm through in a saucepan on the hob or microwave on medium for 3 mins. You may want to add a splash more milk or cream to loosen it a little.Peeling shallots
Make the shallots easier to peel by soaking in just-boiled water for 5 mins. Halve them, then peel away the skin.


  1. Heat the butter and oil in a pan, then add the shallots, cloves, thyme and bay and cook very, very gently for 15 mins until soft, translucent and pale golden.

  2. Remove the cloves, add the milk and pepper, then bring to a gentle simmer for 10 mins. Stir in the breadcrumbs, give it another 5 mins or so over a very low heat until the bread has plumped up nicely, then stir in the cream and nutmeg. Fish out the stalks from the thyme – the leaves will have fallen off. Season to taste. To serve, grate over a little more nutmeg, drizzle with a little more cream and decorate with a bay leaf.

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