Milk-Braised Pork Loin
In this simple adaptation of classic Italian dish, pork loin is braised in milk to create an intensely-flavored sauce and juicy, tender meat. Use a heavy pot for cooking to help prevent the milk from curdling. If the milk forms “clusters,” don’t worry—that is one of the characteristics of this recipe. You will be adding 9 essential nutrients to your family's dinner including calcium, potassium and vitamin D by cooking with milk.
- 1 boneless pork loin (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided,
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest (zest of 2 medium lemons)
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Several whole thyme and sage sprigs (added to pot and for garnish)
Several whole thyme and sage sprigs (added to pot and for garnish)
Let pork loin come up to room temperature for about an hour. Season pork liberally on all sides with kosher salt and black pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed pot, like a cast iron Dutch or French oven, that is it just large enough to fit pork. Add pork and sear on all sides, 10-12 minutes. Remove pork from pot and set aside on plate.
Place remaining 2 tablespoons butter in pot and melt over medium heat. Add shallots, cooking until just translucent. Add herbs, garlic, citrus zest and nutmeg and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add milk and cream, stirring to combine all ingredients. Return pork to pot, along with any accumulated juices and whole springs of thyme and sage, bring up to a slow simmer. Cover pot and place in preheated oven. Cook 2 hours, turning it half way through cooking. Uncover and cook an additional 30 minutes.
Transfer pork to a carving board and let rest at least 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the larger curds if any from the sauce and discard any herb stems. Place pot back on the stove over medium heat; bring to a simmer. Cook 12 to 15 minutes until reduced by half, stirring frequently so milk doesn’t scorch. Cut pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices and arrange on deep serving platter. Ladle milk gravy over pork and garnish with any remaining fresh thyme, sage and zest.