And welcome to the most un-kosher recipe ever.
If this offends you, look away now – but for everyone else, let’s just admire the incredible awesomeness that is Roast Pork in Milk.
Because that’s all it is: pork, milk.
Not even salt and pepper. It tastes that good.
In essence, this is a cross between a classic Italian dish (Arrosto di maiale al latte) and pulled pork: a joint of pork cooked long and slow in the oven for hours. But the inclusion of milk as a cooking liquid has an unbelievably delicious effect on the meat. The pork remains moist and fall-apart tender, and the sauce becomes creamy and richly flavoured with the meat juices.
Of course, you CAN follow the traditional method: buy a whole pork loin, score it, season it, tie it, fry it in oil so that all the sides are browned, add herbs, bacon, onions, lemon zest blah, blah, blah – or, you can be like me and just sling a joint in a pot and slosh milk over it.
I did actually begin by making the classic Italian version, but over time, if I was out of something or I’d forgotten to refill some herb – I just made it without. This has culminated in reducing the recipe to just two ingredients. The fact that it tastes so good with just two ingredients is a constant source of enjoyment to me. So easy. So delicious.
There is, however, a teeny-tiny down-side, though – but I don’t want you to be put off but it, for there is a solution. During the prolonged cooking, the milk breaks down and the milk solids form clumps that float in the rest of the liquid/juices. It looks curdled. But a quick whizz with a stick blender, and it emulsifies together into the fabulously creamy sauce you see above. What I’m completely bemused by is the fact that a lot of people serve it un-whizzed and curdled. Still, each to their own.
Cook as big a joint as you can afford. It freezes well, and needs only a splash of milk on reheating to return the sauce to its creamy deliciousness.
Roast Pork in Milk
1 x big lump of pork – the cut doesn’t really matter. I tend to buy pork leg when it’s on offer, because the meat itself is quite lean. The thick skin and fatty layer underneath keep the meat moist, and just peel off altogether at the end of cooking. Pork shoulder is also fine. With the long cooking time, the size doesn’t really matter either – you’re merely limited by the size of pot you have. I use a large casserole to keep it simple, because it can go straight onto the stove if the sauce needs reducing a little.
2 litres of milk – this might seem a lot, but it does reduce down during cooking, and the more milk you add, the more sauce you’ll end up with. If you don’t want to add it all at once, top it up halfway through cooking.
- Put your joint of pork into your casserole.
- Pour over the milk.
- Put it, uncovered, into the oven and turn the heat on to 160°C, 140°C Fan.
- Turn the meat over in the milk every hour, so that it stays moist.
- Add more milk after 2 hours if liked.
- After 4 hours, remove the casserole from the oven.
- Lift out the joint – be careful, it will be very tender and might fall apart.
- Use a stick blender to whizz the curdled sauce to smoothness. If the sauce isn’t completely smooth or you’d like a slightly thicker sauce, set it to simmer on top of the cooker while you prepare the meat.
- Lift off/peel back the pork skin. Remove all traces of fat and connective tissue and either cut the pork into more manageable chunks, or slice it.
- When you’re happy with the consistency of the sauce, add the meat back into the casserole and warm through.
- Serve with plain boiled rice or riced potatoes and green vegetables.