Here’s another recipe that falls into the “so weird that it has to be good, otherwise why would you even suggest it” category.
I’ve been reading about this technique of cooking a pork loin in milk for hours, then ladling the odd-looking sauce over the meat when it’s served for years. It does make some sense, as it is customary for me to soak liver in milk before cooking it and there are many recipes that call for chicken to be marinated in buttermilk before being coated and deep fried so the batter sticks to the chicken better. Both techniques are also advised to help the meat become tender.
In this recipe, the meat is braised in milk, then the milk is used as a sauce when the pork loin is served. The end product looks a little odd – chunks of coagulated milk are not the most appetising looking thing and maybe can’t really be called a sauce – but the whole thing tastes really good, so don’t skip that part.
Get a pork loin.
Heat the oil and butter in the saucepan that will be used to braise the pork.
Brown the pork on all sides.
After the pork is browned on all sides…
Add 1 cup of the milk.
Simmer for an hour, then add another cup of milk.
After another hour of cooking, one more addition of milk (half a cup this time), the pork is ready.
Let the meat rest, then slice it.
While the pork was resting, I added some water to the milk bits left in the cooking pot and whisked it to make something that more resembled a sauce then poured that over the sliced pork loin.
And serve (with some pan-fried asparagus and mashed potatoes)!
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2- to 3-pound boneless pork shoulder butt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 to 4 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons water
Choose a heavy-bottomed pot that can snugly accommodate the pork. Heat butter and oil on medium high.
When the butter foam subsides, brown the meat, fat side down first, then all sides evenly. If the butter becomes very dark, lower heat.
Add salt, pepper and 1 cup milk. Turn heat down so that milk simmers slowly. Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar. Cook at a lazy simmer for approximately 1 hour, turning the meat occasionally, until the milk has thickened into a nut-brown sauce. The exact time it will take depends largely on the heat of your burner and the thickness of your pot.
When the milk reaches this stage – and not before – add 1 cup milk. Simmer for 10 minutes, then cover the pot. After 30 minutes set the lid ajar. Continue to cook at minimum heat, and when you see there is no more liquid milk in the pot, add another 1/2 cup of milk.
Continue cooking until the meat feels very tender when prodded with a fork and all the milk has coagulated into small nut-brown clusters. Altogether it will take between 2 1/2 and 3 hours. If before the meat is fully cooked you find that the liquid in the pot has evaporated, add another 1/2 cup of milk. Repeat if it should become necessary.
When the pork is tender and all the milk in the pot has thickened into dark clusters, transfer the meat to a cutting board. Let it settle for a few minutes, then cut it into slices about 3/8 inch thick and arrange them on a warm serving platter.
Tip the pot and spoon off most of the fat. There may be up to a cup. Be careful to leave all the coagulated milk clusters. Add 3 tablespoons of water and boil away the water over high heat using a wooden spoon to scrape brown bits from the bottom and sides of the pot. Spoon all the pot juices over the pork and serve immediately.