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How to Make Pork Loin Braised in Milk
This is an Italian recipe that doesn’t sound even remotely as good as it tastes.
Some recipes are magic – transforming a few simple ingredients into something otherworldly; and this is one of them.
It’s also a very easy recipe, pretty much just letting some pork loin simmer slowly in milk for a couple of hours – but what happens as the milk tenderizes and delicately flavors the pork and then turns itself into a rich curdled sauce is really pretty neat.
Anyway, there aren’t many recipes that get me excited about the idea of a pork loin roast (normally amongst the driest and blandest of the cuts of pork) but for this recipe, it’s perfect; it’s leanness a lovely foil to the richness of the sauce. This is my variation of a recipe I found originally in Molly Steven’s book, all about braising.
Pork Loin Simmered in Milk
- A 2-3 pound pork loin roast (boneless)
- The zest from ½ a lemon
- 1 tsp of dried thyme
- 2 of whole milk
- 1 tsp of brown sugar
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- About 2 Tbls of extra virgin olive oil
- About 2 Tbls of butter
- Preheat the oven to 275
- Season the pork roast all over with freshly cracked pepper and salt
- Heat a heavy high sided oven-safe frying pan or dutch oven over medium with the oil and butter. You are looking for a pot that’s going to hold the pork pretty snugly – so you don’t have to add a sea of milk to the pan.
- When the butter is melted and the pan is at medium heat, add in the pork loin roast and cook it for a few minutes on all sides, until it is lightly browned all over. Take your time on this stage and don’t be tempted to rush the process by cranking up the heat – if you do you’ll blacken the bottom of the pan and lose all your lovely browned bits that would otherwise flavor the sauce.
- Meanwhile, heat the milk, bring it almost, but not quite to a boil
- Once the pork is browned on all sides, add in a little bit of the milk and use a spoon to scrape up and deglaze the pan. Once finished, add in the rest of the hot milk (this two step addition of the milk helps you to avoid the furious volcano like bubbling over of the milk that would occur of you poured the very hot milk directly into the even hotter pan).
- To the milk, add in the thyme, the brown sugar and the lemon zest
- Cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar and pop into the
oven to cook for about 2 hours in total
- After about an hour, flip the pork loin over
- Cook for another hour - By this time, the pork will be cooked through and the milk will have curdled and browned.
- To serve, cut slices of the loin for each plate. Moisten each plate with a little of the liquid that rests under the milk curds and serve with some curds of milk alongside.
Simple to make, but really good!
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