Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Milk Braised Pork Shoulder

Milk Braised Pork Shoulder

I think it may have been the weather that made do this. Early this month the weather in Portland, Oregon had been creeping into BBQ territory. Even though I probably grill 100+ days a year outside there are times when I don't feel like getting soaked while trying to coax some wet hardwood charcoal (yeah, I am a total Luddite) to light.
So, the weather is cold and wet and I was surfing some cooking sites when something nudged me to do a google search on "Milk Braised Pork". This is a technique that an Italian Grandmother developed and I wish I could say that it was an old family recipe, alas it isn't. I tell you this though, if you cook this, your family will remember it and they will tell the story of their Mother or Father who cooked this succulent pork dish.

Milk Braised Pork Shoulder
4-5lb Pork Shoulder (boned and tied)
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Olive Oil
2 Onions (chopped)
4 Shallots (chopped)
1 qt. Whole Milk
Fresh Thyme-2-3 big sprigs

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Season the Pork Shoulder with salt and pepper and add to a enamel lined cast iron pot with some olive oil. Brown all sides and remove. To the pot add the onions and shallot and cook until soft, add the milk and the pork and bring to a simmer then add the thyme. Add the pot to the oven and cook the pork for two hours (keep the lid to the pot slightly open). After two hours transfer the pork to a warm dish to rest for 20 minutes. Place the pot with the milk mixture on a medium burner and reduce this mixture for 15 minutes. The mixture will look a bit gnarly.....the milk will curdle, but if you hang in there and reduce and then puree with an immersion blender you will have the silkiest, most savory gravy you have ever tasted.
Season the gravy to taste, slice the pork and plate with a side vegetable. This gravy would be awesome on mashed potatoes as well.

Heads up, the remaining gravy and a couple of handfuls of left over pork (chopped) make a pasta dish that is worth going to the trouble to make by itself. Buon Appetito!


Foodycat said...

I've been thinking about this dish for years - I first saw it in Elizabeth David's Italian Food, and thought it sounded amazing. And yours looks so good!