March 29, 2012
My husband loves pork. I mean, my husband LOVES pork- it’s more of a religion for him. Neither of us had ever tried the milk-braised pork that I had read about, so I decided to make this version of it for his birthday. There are lots of recipes out there- this one uses tomatoes as well as milk. I wasn’t sure about using milk by itself, and I’m glad I went with the tomato version. The tomato-milk sauce reminds me of a Bolognese, which is one of my all-time favorites. After reading some of the comments on the recipe, I adjusted a few ingredients and amounts and this is where I landed. It was a hit. The cinnamon addition gives the dish a unique flavor. You can serve it over whatever you like- I made some simple polenta. Please forgive my food photography.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com:
- 3 lbs boneless pork butt
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 tablespoons light olive oil
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 – 28-oz can San Marzano tomato puree
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Handful of grated Parmesan
- Handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Your choice of starch- roasted potatoes, gnocchi, pasta, polenta, or other option
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Heat Dutch oven or braising dish over medium-high heat.
- Rub pork butt liberally with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Using wooden spoon, stir in flour. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly (do not allow roux to brown). Remove from heat; cover and let stand until ready to use.
- Pulse onion, carrot, and celery in food processor until finely chopped.
- Pour olive oil into Dutch oven, add pork and sear until brown, about 3-4 minutes per side, turning to brown all sides. Remove pork from pan and set aside.
- Add garlic, vegetables, and crushed red pepper to pot. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes.
- Add wine and bring to a boil, stirring up browned bits. Allow to reduce for 1-2 minutes. Add tomato puree, then add milk and bring to a simmer. Whisk in roux. Simmer 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.
- Add bay leaves and cinnamon to pot. Return pork butt to pot and cover. Place in oven and braise pork until very tender, 3-4 hours. Remove from oven. Pork should easily come apart into chunks using forks.
- Taste sauce and adjust seasoning as needed. If sauce is not to desired consistency, reduce as desired.
- Serve pork over starch of choice. Top with freshly grated Parmesan and fresh parsley if desired.