The Best Way To Braise Pork is in Milk

There was one episode in the popular sitcom, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia where Dennis and Mac and trying to help Charlie set up his online dating profile. When asked what his favorite food is, Charlie replies, "milk steak," and to the dismay of his friends, he assures them that any lady would know what it means. They wave him off, writing down steak and moving on to the next question about his hobbies. Magnets are his answer, and as you can guess, the rest of his dating profile answers are pretty much just as weird, prompting his friends to fabricate his entire dating profile.

To Mac and Dennis's dismay, cooking meat in milk isn't that unusual. In fact, braising pork in whole milk is one of the best ways to prepare the meat.

The technique itself comes from Italy, where pork loin is prepared in milk in a dish called maiale al latteSome of the simplest Italian recipes only call for the pork and milk, instructing you to cook it at a bare simmer for upwards of three hours. During the cooking process, the pork becomes extremely tender and the milk turns into a beautiful and rich sauce.

Today, most recipes call for boneless pork shoulder along with seasonings such as garlic, thyme sprigs, fresh sage leaves, fresh rosemary, bay leaves, lemon zest and even red pepper flakes.

To begin, season your pork shoulder with a heavy hand of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Meanwhile, heat a dutch oven on high heat with a small amount of olive oil. Add in the pork and brown on all sides then remove to cook the onions or whatever other vegetables or aromatics you plan on adding to the dish.

Add the pork back into the pot along with milk (some recipes even call for heavy cream) and bring to barely a boil, then reduce to low and simmer until the pork is fork-tender.

Don't be frightened when you see the milk begin to curdle. Over time the milk will separate into curds and whey. Separate the curds from the braising liquid and push through a fine sieve to create a velvety sauce.

Find the recipe here. 

Either shred the pork or slice and serve with the sauce. See, it looks like Charlie was right.

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