This particular version comes from a leaflet on Christmas cooking by Paula Daly, stashed at the back of one of Ma’s cookery books. I also experimented with a gluten-free version for she-who-is-still-avoiding-gluten.
- 1 fairly large onion
- 8-10 cloves
- 1 bayleaf
- 6 peppercorns
- 575ml milk
- 125g soft white breadcrumbs (or up to 200g gluten-free breadcrumbs)
- 50g unsalted butter or margarine
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2-3 tblsps cream
- Peel the onion and cut in half. Stud each half with the cloves.
- Place the onion, bayleaf, peppercorns and milk in a saucepan. Bring slowly to simmering point and then turn off the heat.
- Cover and infuse for an hour.
- Strain the infused milk and add the breadcrumbs. Leave for about 15 minutes in a warm place. The breadcrumbs will plump up as they absorb the liquid.
With the gluten-free version, I found that the gluten-free breadcrumbs did not plump up as much as the regular kind, so I added more in order to get a nice thick consistency. You may want to experiment with amounts here, depending on the kind of gluten-free breadcrumbs you have.
- Add the butter or margarine. Mix to combine, then season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the cream just before serving.