Monday, March 14, 2011

Pork Cooked in Milk, with Bay and Cinnamon

Normally I stay clear of combining meat with milk. It's a combination that doesn't appeal to me (I will never choose Beef Stroganoff in a restaurant, for example). I'm not kosher about it--pepperoni pizza, here I come--but in general, I avoid it.

But to prove how goy I really am, this Spanish recipe for pork cooked in milk (from Moro) intrigued me and proved to be delicious. There is a plainer version in Essentials of Italian Cooking, and the Moro recipe also mentions using lemon zest and sage leaves instead of bay and cinnamon, so you could make lots of variations.

Basically, it involves browning a pork roast in a pot, adding milk and flavourings, and then simmering with the lid half off until the pork is cooked and still juicy, and the milk has evaporated leaving the remaining solids to caramelize into an almost cheesy sauce. It sounds simple, and it IS simple, but ...
I only had a small roast (about 500 grams) and, even though I tried to scale the recipe down, it took only 50 minutes to cook the pork and over 2 hours to evaporate the milk. This may have been a result of cooking the roast in a smaller pan, although I figured this was just part of scaling down the recipe. Fortunately, I had no guests and was not pressed for time. The result was tender and flavourful pork. The caramelized sauce is slightly sweet and subtly flavoured with bay and cinnamon. If you didn't know what it was, it would be hard to describe.

Lomo con Leche

Although this recipe reduced the meat and milk, I left the seasoning, bay leaves and cinnamon at the same amounts.
500 grams pork loin roast
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups milk
3 bay leaves
1/2 stick of cinnamon

  1. Season the outside of the pork with salt, pepper, and thyme.
  2. In a large heavy pot, heat the olive oil. When it is hot, add the pork and brown it on all sides.
  3. Add the milk, bay leaves, and cinnamon and bring to a simmer. 
  4. Turn the heat down and put the lid on the pot so that it is only half covered. 
  5. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, turning the pork from time to time.
  6. When the pork is cooked, remove it to a plate and cover with with tin foil.
  7. Keep the lid off the milk, raise the heat slightly, and continue simmering until the milk has reduced to a thick brown sauce.
  8. At this point, you can add the pork again to reheat it, before taking it out to serve with the sauce on the side. (Or you can just reheat the pork in the microwave.)

1 comment:

  1. Hazan's Classic Italian has the same thing, pork cooked long in milk. I've seen it in other Italian cookbooks also. No cinnamon though. It's surprisingly good.