Milk-Braised Pork Roast

On Sunday, I had the time and inclination to try making something new. My wife suggested pork for dinner, and off I went to find something new and exciting in the pork world.

The answer came from Molly Stevens‘ soul-satisfying book, All About Braising. Her recipe for Pork Loin Braised in Milk is simple but unusual, and it came out fantastic.

To prepare it, cut several cloves of garlic into slivers, and mix them with spices. I used sage and fennel seed, but you could substitute whatever you prefer. I poked holes all over a 2.5 pound pork loin roast, inserted the spiced garlic slivers, and then salted and peppered the roast. I let it sit for a few hours before browning it in cast iron pan a mixture of oil and butter. After it was browned, I removed the roast, and tossed in a little extra garlic, stirring it till it was toasty. Then I poured in a cup and a half of whole milk, brought it to a boil while stirring the brown bits up from the bottom. After it was boiling, I returned the roast and juices to the pan, and turned off the burner. I put the lid on and put the whole thing in the oven at 250 for around an hour and a half, turning it half-way through.

After taking it out of the oven, I put the roast on a carving board and covered it. The milk had transformed itself into soft, tan curdly sauce. I removed some (but not all) of the fat (pork is so lean these days there wasn’t much) and boiled the sauce until it thickened a little, adding a little salt and pepper and just a few drops of lemon juice. When I served it, the meat was tender and moist, and the sauce complemented the sweetness of the pork.

Next time I try it, I might toss in a few halved new potatoes, but it was just fine served with steamed broccoli. I had never considered milk to be a braising liquid before Sunday . . .

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