I’m not quite sure what appealed to me about this recipe in The River Cafe Cookbook which we are exploring at the moment for The Cookbook Guru. Maybe it was the unusual method of cooking the meat in milk, or perhaps it was the combination of sage and lemon with a slow cooked pork that appealed to my senses. Either way the decision was made for me when Lady Red Specs advised me she knew of a number of people who had tried this recipe and raved about it. At that point I had to give it a go.
The recipe itself was very easy to execute. The final meat was a bit grey looking so I don’t have any pretty pictures for you with the end result, but I can say what it lacked in appearance it made up for in texture and flavour. The meat literally melted in the mouth and whilst the flavour was slightly unusual due to the combination of lemon and milk, I really enjoyed what it created. Again I found myself wishing for a little imput from the author’s about how this should be served in terms of accompaniments. I went with roasted potato’s and carrots, but think it would’ve been far better suited to a rustic polenta and some slow roasted tomatoes to suit the earthy tastes. I used some of the left over meat shredded and stirred through some pasta with sour cream, pine nuts and spinach the next day and found that it suited it quite well as well.
I guess that as I peruse this book it is up to me to take the idea’s and adapt them to suit my style of eating which is perhaps not a bad thing in the end. For me this recipe is well worth a try, and one that I think I will attempt again in the future.
Maiale Al Latte – Pork Cooked In Milk
Taken from The River Cafe Cookbook by Rose Grey and Ruth Rogers
- 1 x approx 2kg boned loin of young pork, rind and most of the fat removed
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbl sp olive oil
- 50g unsalted butter
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
- small handful of fresh sage leaves (optional)
- 1 1/2L milk
- pared rind of 2 lemons
Generously season the trimmed pork with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan that is large enough to hold the pork and has a lid. I used my cast iron pot for this and thought it was perfect. Brown the meat on all sides and then remove from the pan. Drain away any excess fat from the pan and then melt the butter. Add the garlic cloves with the sage and cook until the garlic begins to colour. At this point add the pork back into the pan. Add enough milk to come 3/4 of the way up the meat. Bring to the boil and then add the lemon rind. Reduce the heat and cover with the lid, leaving slightly askew. Slowly simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Resist the temptation to disturb the meat.
When the pork is cooked the milk will have curdled into brown nuggets. Carefully move the meat and serve immediately with the sauce spooned over it.
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