When cold dreary days appear during the months of February and March, there is nothing like the comforting aroma of something slowly cooking on the stove or in the oven. This is a recipe I adapted a long time ago from one of Marcella Hazan’s cookbooks. It has been a family favorite for many years.
MILK BRAISED PORK ROAST
1 Boneless Pork Shoulder – 3 – 4 lbs
3 Tbs Butter – unsalted
2 Cups whole Milk – mixed with
1 ½ Cups Half and Half
3 – 4 Sage Leaves
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
Zest of One Lemon
1 Medium Onion – cut in half and very thinly sliced
Salt (preferably Kosher)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Garlic Powder – to taste (I use quite a bit)
Season the pork with salt, pepper and garlic powder, massaging the meat so that the seasonings will adhere well. Melt the butter in a large pot or a pan with deep sides and a cover. When the butter starts to sizzle add the pork and cook over moderate-high heat, slowly turning it so that it browns on all sides.
When well browned carefully add the milk/Half and Half mixture, lemon zest, sage leaves and a pinch of salt. Bring all to a simmer. After a few minutes, cover the pan and place in an oven preheated to 275°. (You can cook this entirely on the stove if you prefer but it needs more careful watching.) Cook for about 2 ½ hours, turning the pork several times so that it all cooks in the sauce. If it looks like it is getting dry add a little more milk. But if the pan has a good cover this shouldn’t happen.
Carefully lift the meat out of the pan and carefully scatter the onions along the bottom. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. (Note: sometimes at this point just to make the meal heartier, I will peel and very thinly slice 2 or 3 Yukon Gold potatoes and lay these under the onions). Lay the meat on top, cover and continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes until the onions are very soft.
When all is cooked, remove the pork from the pan, remove the sage and bay leaves. Carefully spoon the onions and potatoes to a large rimmed platter. Slice the meat and place on top. Pour the milk (along with the onions if you have not used potatoes) into a blender and puree. Taste for additional seasoning.
Serve on the side or pour over the meat.
Your kitchen will smell heavenly. Buon Appetito!