Pork loin braised in milk, bolognese style
( SERVES 8 )
The pork loin cooks slowly in the milk, eventually reducing to small clusters of deliciously caramelised nut-brown solids. The recipe is based on one from The Essentials of Italian Cooking (1992), by Marcella Hazan.
- Keep the fat on the loin - it will render during cooking, keeping the loin moist as it does so.
- The fat will be poured off and discarded later. Heat the oil in a casserole pan large enough to contain the pork loin.
- Add the butter and when it foams, add the meat fat-side down.
- Brown the meat on all sides, lowering the heat if the butter browns too much.
- Season with salt and pepper, then slowly add 250ml of the milk, ensuring that it does not boil over.
- Allow the milk to come to a brisk simmer for 20-30 seconds, then lower the heat and cover with a lid, leaving it slightly askew.
- Cook at a lazy simmer for 1 hour until the milk has thickened to a nut-brown sauce.
- When it reaches this stage, add another 250ml of milk, simmer for 10 minutes and then cover again, this time with the lid on tightly.
- After 30 more minutes, set the lid askew again and cook until there is almost no liquid left in the pot.
- Add the remaining milk and cook until all the milk has coagulated into small nut-brown clusters.
- The whole process should take 2½-3 hours. If all the milk evaporates before the meat is fully cooked, add another 100ml or so.
- Transfer the meat to a cutting board and pour off the fat, leaving behind the milk clusters.
- Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of water to the pot and bring to the boil, scraping all the cooked residues from the bottom and sides of the pot.
- Slice the pork and spoon the milky juices over it. Serve immediately, accompanied by green beans, broccoli or spinach.