Pork loin braised in milk
This dish, which seems to be trending lately, is very simple to make. Marcella Hazan’s is probably the most well-known version, but others are listed here (http://leitesculinaria.com/79364/recipes-roast-pork-in-milk.html) and here (http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2007/09/the_milkbraised.html).
I made my version the simplest way possible. Since this was the first time trying pork braised in milk, I wanted to limit the mistakes and keep it simple. While this dish is not very hard to make, it does require that a constant eye be kept on it.
Ingredients: • 2 1/2 pound boneless roast pork loin • 1 tsp Salt • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic • A few sage leaves • 4 tablespoons butter • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 3 cups whole milk. Absolutely do not use reduced fat milk. Just do not.
1. I had a pretty clean piece of meat, fat-wise. If your piece has a lot of fat, I recommend trimming, but leaving just a little to give the meat good flavor. Also, I should have used butcher’s twine to tie mine up—if you have a loosy goosy piece that doesn’t hold together too well, make sure to use some twine. Sprinkle kosher salt on the roast. 2. Heat a heavy-bottomed flameproof casserole, or a dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the butter and once it is melted and foams, add the meat and the sage. You will want to sear the meat on all sides until it is nicely browned. This took me about 15 minutes. 3. Lower the heat and add the milk and the garlic. The milk should come up to about ¾ of the roast, so add more milk if you don’t have enough. Make sure to add the milk very slowly. Gradually bring the milk to a simmer, and partially cover the pot. The milk will curdle and form brown nuggets; don't panic, this is what you want as they taste nutty, sweet and delicious. Let cook until the internal temperature is 140F, about 1 hour. If the pork is ready but the sauce does not seem to have sufficiently reduced, take the pork out and cook down the sauce for a bit. 4. When the pork is ready, remove from the pot and let sit for about 10 minutes. The sauce remaining in the pot will look a little curdled (and maybe unappetizing?), but this is normal. It tastes delicious, and you definitely don’t want to get rid of it. People often refer to these as “little brown clusters”. If it is very fatty (which mine was not) you skim the sauce and remove the fat. At this point, you can also use an emulsion blender and blend the sauce if you really don’t like the curdled look.
While this dish isn’t much of a looker, it tasted great—the sauce was sweet and nutty and the meat was perfectly tender. I definitely plan on making this again, but maybe with a few changes. First of all, I accidentally used reduced –fat milk because I didn’t read the label properly of what was in my fridge. BIG MISTAKE. This made a huge difference, as my milk wasn’t caramelizing at all. Once I noticed, I removed the low-fat milk and replaced with whole milk. However, the meat was ready before the sauce, so I had to take the meat out and let the milk cook on its own for a little.