Christmas sauces

Here are foolproof instructions for two accompaniments to roast turkey: cranberry sauce and bread sauce. Both can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a couple of days. The cranberry sauce will in fact keep for much longer if kept in a sterilised jar.

Cranberry sauce

Serves 6


Juice of 1 orange, plus zest of ½ orange
150g caster sugar
300g fresh cranberries
1½ tbsp port


Put the orange juice and sugar in a small pan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the cranberries, bring to a simmer, then cook for about eight minutes, until most of the fruit has burst and you have a loose sauce: it will set as it cools, so don’t worry if it still seems a bit liquid when you stop cooking.

Stir in the port and orange zest and transfer to a bowl. Chill until needed. It can be served warm or cold.

Bread sauce

Serves 6-8


1 small onion, peeled
5 cloves
2 bay leaves
3-4 shards blade mace
10 peppercorns
500ml whole milk
115g white breadcrumbs
1 tbsp cream (optional)
nutmeg, grated
½ tsp salt


Cut the onion in half and stud the cut side with the cloves, then put in a small pan with the bay leaves, mace, peppercorns and milk. Heat until it is on the point of boiling, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for an hour.

Strain the milk, return to the pan and gently reheat. Stir in the breadcrumbs and heat, stirring, until the mix has thickened to your desired consistency. Stir in the cream, if using, season to taste with salt and grated nutmeg, then transfer to a bowl and serve warm. If you make it in advance, chill in the fridge and zap in the microwave for a couple of minutes before serving: it may need a little more milk or cream to loosen the texture.

Published by motherrach

Alongside this blog, which records tried and tested family favourites, I’m documenting on Instagram (mother_rach_cooks) my efforts in repertoire expansion.

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