Sunday, October 03, 2010

Milk-Braised Pork Shoulder

Inspired by a fabulous dinner at the Purple Pig, we decided to try to braise the pork shoulder that my dear husband procured at Costco this weekend in milk. There are many fine recipes for milk-braised pork online, so we cribbed from a few of the best looking ones, and then did our own thing.

What a fabulous, easy way to cook an inexpensive cut of pork! Our pork shoulder was boneless; would be interesting to try a bone-in cut to see what that added to the sauce. We served ours with lightly buttered egg noodles and steamed sugar snap peas. It would have been equally at home with polenta or potatoes.

Milk-Braised Pork Shoulder

3-4 lbs. boneless pork shoulder
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 shallots, minced
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup white wine
5 springs thyme
2 bay leaves

Liberally season the pork with salt and pepper. Put a large dutch oven on the stovetop to heat; add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Brown the pork on all sides; remove to a pan. Saute the onion, garlic, and shallots in the pot; cook until translucent. Add the pork and any accumulated juices back to the pan, along with the milk, wine, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot and cook in a low oven (300 degrees) for 3-4 hours until the pork is very tender and beginning to fall apart. Remove the pork from the pot and cover with foil to keep warm; strain the liquid from the pot, pressing down to extract all of the juices. Place the liquid into a gravy strainer and allow the fat to rise to the top. Pour all of the gravy back into the pot, and add 1/2-3/4 cup of cream. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon; taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Return the pork to the sauce and heat through. Serve with noodles and a green vegetable.

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