This recipe serves 10 to 12 people for Christmas dinner. Reduce volumes accordingly for a smaller Sunday lunch.
Peel and slice the onions and place in a pan with the bay leaves, cloves, salt, peppercorns and milk.
Bring slowly to just below boiling point.
Reduce the heat to very low and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat, cover and leave until cold.
Strain, cover and chill until required.
Just before serving, reheat the milk, stir in the breadcrumbs and then the butter and cream (if you like a very rich sauce).