The Beth Braise Ever: Milk Braised Pork

You ever make a dish and you’re like holy fucking shit this is delicious (**expletives continue to fire off in your brain**)?

Yes?

No?

Maybe so?

Well this is one such dish.

Bottomline: Milk Braised Pork is the braise you never knew you needed but will now and forever always crave.

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Braising is one of my favorite techniques in the kitchen – it is versatile, straightforward and forgiving. When braised with milk, pork becomes succulent and savory, rather than rich and heavy like a traditional braise, so it is a dish that can be enjoyed no matter how high the mercury gets.

My favorite vegetable pairing with braised pork is a simple blanched and sauteed turnip.

IMG_0839Tokyo turnips, with their fresh, clean flavor and slightly astringent quality, make them the perfect foil against the luscious braise. For a heartier meal, serve the dish over polenta studded with sweet summer corn.


Milk Braised Pork

  • 1# boneless pork shoulder
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 10 cloves garlic, halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small dried chili
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. Roughly pick 5 sprigs of thyme. Season the pork on all sides with salt, pepper and picked thyme (stems are ok here). Wrap the pork tightly in seranwrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove the pork from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you’re ready to begin cooking in order to take the chill off the meat. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  3. IMG_0837Slick the bottom of a medium Dutch oven or braiser with a coat of olive oil and heat over a medium-high flame. Sear the pork on all sides, until it’s golden brown throughout. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside.
  4. Add the garlic, bay leaves, chili, the rest of the thyme and butter to the pot and quickly saute. Add the pork back to the pot and using a spoon, baste the meat with the herby-garlicy oil/butter. Carefully pour in the wine and reduce until sec.
  5. Add the milk to the pot. There should be enough so the pork is almost covered but feel free to add some more if it looks a little low. Bring the milk to a high simmer and turn off the heat. Cover with a lid
    and place in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes.
  6. After 30 minutes remove the pork from the oven and begin spooning the separated milk curds over the pork. Place the lid back onto the pot and return the pork to the oven. Reduce heat to 350F and continue to baste and spoon the milk curds over the pork every 15 minutes or so for the next hour-and-a-half to two hours. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, remove the lid so the curds brown and caramelize over the pork.
  7. Remove the pork and curds from the pot and cover with foil to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce the cooking liquid over high heat and strain. Pour the jus over the pork and caramelized curds and serve with simple Tokyo turnips.

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Simple Tokyo Turnips

  • 1 bunch small Tokyo turnips
  • 3T extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  1. Clean the turnips and their greens. Cut the turnips in half, quartering any large ones, so they are roughly the same size. Discard any yellow or holey greens.
  2. In salted, boiling water blanch the turnips for 2 minutes or until almost cooked through. Drain and shock in ice water. Strain.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium-large saute pan. Add the turnip greens, a generous pinch of salt and saute for 1 minute. Add the turnips and saute until tender and the edges of the white turnips begin to turn golden brown. Serve immediately.

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