This classic Italian recipe probably origins in Emilia-Romagna and Biba has made many delicious versions of it. You can also find something similar in Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of classic Italian cooking.
I don’t know who thought of cooking pork in milk, but that person was certainly and ingenious cook. Braising meat in milk makes for the most tender, moist meat and the most delicious sauce. Who would have thought that this sauce would be so tasty!
Arrosto di maiale al latte
2 to 3 pound pork loin roast
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium leeks or onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 liter whole milk
3 to 5 whole sage leaves
3 tablespoons heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
1. Season your roast aggressively with salt and pepper all over.
2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat and cook the roast, turning it every few minutes, until brown all over. Remove the roast from the pot, put it on a plate to rest and discard the fat. Wipe the bottom of the pot with a paper towel and reduce the heat to medium-low.
3. Melt the butter in the same pot and add the leeks or onions and cook, stirring once in a while, until soft but not colored. Add the garlic and cook one more minute.
4. Add the roast back to the pot with the accumulated juices and add enough milk to come up to about 1/3 of the roast. Add the sage leaves, cover partially and cook for about one hour or until an instant thermometer reads 140 F. Turn the roast halfway through cooking.
5. When the roast reaches that temperature, take it out and put it on a dish to rest for ten minutes, tent it loosely with foil and finish the sauce.
6. Have a look at your sauce. At this point, you will think it is ruined because the milk will have curdled and you will feel hopeless. Don’t worry: it is normal and it is all fixable. Add the cream and blitz it with a hand blender (or a regular blender). Leave the sage leaves in. It will be smooth again and it will look delicious. Adjust seasonings. If the sauce is too thick, add more milk, if it is too thin, reduce it more.
7. Slice the roast and make sure to put all the juices back in the pot with the sauce.
8. Serve on warm plates with lots of sauce. I served mine with roasted potatoes and turnips.