Gluten-free, Meat and Poultry

Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots

Loreto December 22, 2017

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Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots, an unusual technique that brings about amazing succulent texture and out of this world great flavors!

Song of the day: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Bruce Springsteen.

Milk braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots

Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots, is a dish perfect for that special Christmas meal. This pork shoulder is so tender it just falls apart in your mouth only to melt and release all the incredible flavors of the braising liquid, sheer heaven!

 

 

Milk would not have been something that I would have used in braising a pork shoulder. But you know what? It is incredible and I have become a huge fan of this type of braising. Can’t wait to try it again, maybe with chicken!

Christmas for me has always been a magical time. When I was quite young my father (AKA Santa) would crawl through an upper window and with snow covered boots make footprints on our hardwood floor all the way to the Christmas tree where he would lay our presents beside it. I would be in my bed listening so carefully as I heard the window open, and then the footsteps. I got really good at knowing the distance between that window and the tree; 16 footsteps is what I heard before the rustle of presents being placed down. I would put my pillow over my face because I was so happy and full of giggles I didn’t want to wake my parents or let Santa know I was awake. You may ask why didn’t I go to see who it was, well I was told that if Santa saw you on Christmas eve the presents would all disappear and I would be put on the naughty list and just get a lump of coal. Hey, I know how to keep my assets intact and follow the rules to do so. Christmas morning would come and not real quick as I lay there in my bed thinking “I wonder what Santa brought me”. But when the moon was in a certain position in my bedroom window, I was up and right to that tree searching for my gift, but not before examining the footprints left on the floor. I would walk the footprints of Santa right to the tree, let out a mighty Ho Ho Ho, well ok maybe not mighty, but I gave it a good college try.

Christmas is also about sharing food and that was the second coming for me. Christmas dinner, all those wonderful dishes, brodo with tortellini (beef soup with tortellini),  homemade lasagna, mashed potatoes and gravy, and roasted chicken nice and crispy and so so juicy and flavorful with all those spices my mom and dad would put in the pan, and an all-time favorite, sausages onions and peas, or sausages and peppers, yum!

Christmas is definitely a special time, it is about sharing and respecting, gratefulness and caring, and if we want to bring it home to the recipe we made, the milk has done a wonderful job caring for the pork shoulder and I am so grateful to have been inspired by this Italian technique to create this recipe Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots.

Milk braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots

I have to say I am a bit old school. I love going to the butcher, shopping at markets, it brings back so many memories of Saturday mornings with my mom and the old downtown market. There is something to be said about knowing your butcher and the farms that produce the amazing products. Humanely raised and naturally fed goes a long way in my books. I had a conversation with my uncle the other morning and he was saying he was going to make fresh sausages, YUM! Well we began to talk about where to get the ground pork and he was saying he saw some on sale at one of the local large supermarkets, but he said the meat was so white lacking color. I told him probably wasn’t a happy pig and not fed really well. I told him to check out some of the places I go, and also told him that since I have been eating organic and well-raised products I definitely notice a huge difference in taste and look. He was quite impressed and was determined to go to some of the places I had mentioned and try the products. These do cost a bit more but well worth the price! I picked up this pork shoulder from Acme Meats in the Old Ritchie area located in the Ritchie Market. This place is amazing and has wonderful meats, chicken, lamb and so much more. Look at this pork shoulder, lovely color, a nice amount of fat and just by the feel of it, so soft and moist I know it is going to be so tender and delicious, especially because it is going to be milk braised! To sweeten the pot a bit some lovely carrots and cipollini onions, a nice bite from some celery, and the spices, bay leaf, peppercorns, plus an added spice mix rub.

Milk braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots

Don’t look too closely at my tie up job, I have only tied up a roast once before so am still an amateur, but I am still proud, it looks not bad at all.

Milk braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots

My general rule is to sear the pork shoulder first. Get a nice crisp golden color on the surface knowing all those juices will remain inside the strands of protein. Oh, I almost forgot, I rubbed the inside of the pork shoulder with a mix of salt, pepper, onion powder, white powder, paprika and some dried basil, parsley, and rosemary. Plus, after the rub, a good drizzle of olive oil. On the surface just a sprinkle of seasoning and into a hot cast pot to get that color and aroma I so love.  To achieve this I poured in some good quality olive oil and also a pat of butter. The olive oil prevents the butter from burning guaranteeing me that lovely flavor and beautiful sheen. After all the sides of the shoulder are browned and seared, in goes the carrots, onions, peppercorns and bay leaves. OMG, what an aroma the veggies mingling with the juices from the pork, the peppercorns and bay leaf, I want to just break a piece of the pork shoulder off and have a taste, but I won’t, it is not done yet and I want to do it justice.

Milk braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots

Now, for la crème de la crème, in goes the scalded milk. I used a whole milk but if you want to trim the fat a bit the partly skimmed will do fine, I think. Scalding the milk is easy, just bring it to a simmer in a pot until a layer forms on top. Take that layer off and discard and there you have it, scalded milk.

This looks so lovely and into a hot oven it goes for an hour and a half basting and turning to ensure that milk and seasoning are working the pork at all angles.

Milk braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots

The pork smells amazing and just by feeling, it is going to be so tender. I take the carrots out and no, we are not going to waste any of that juice in the pot, that would be such a shame. I strain it through a sieve and bring it to boil until the thickness that I want is achieved.

Milk braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots

I love the aroma, that spice of the bay leaf and peppercorns in that rich sauce, the spices so beautifully nestled in the folds of the pork. Now let’s plate this baby. A nice center of pork slices. A surround of carrots and a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley. Look at this rustic yet beautiful dish, it reminds me of Italy. All those lovely tender pieces of pork drizzled with the rich sauce and those carrots shiny and so colorful.

The first taste affirms the tenderness of this meat, just melt in your mouth while the spices and the sauce play with your taste buds. The carrots offer such a wonderful tender sweetness that balances the flavors so well and I want a piece of bread so I can get the last of that milk braising sauce. It is so rich and creamy and so flavorful it has my mouth singing Glory Alleluia!

I wish I could invite you all over to share this Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots with usthat would be incredible. I hope your  Christmas fills you with happy memories and joy!

From our Family at SugarLoveSpices:

Season’s Greetings!

Song of the day: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Bruce Springsteen.

P.S: If you are looking for another absolutely tender pork recipe, try our Pressure cooker Pork Tenderloin.

Milk braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots

 

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Milk braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots

Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20
  • Yield: 4-5 servings 1x
  • Category: Main, Meat
  • Method: Braising, Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots, an unusual technique that brings about amazing succulent texture and out of this world great flavors!


Ingredients

  • 750 g lean pork loin
  • 3 Tbsp e.v.o. oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 8 carrots, cut into 5 cm strips
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • salt to taste
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk, scalded

Instructions

  1. Take Pork Shoulder and trim any excess fat.
  2. Mix salt, pepper, onion powder, white pepper, paprika, dried rosemary, dried basil, in a bowl and rub spice mix into the inside of the pork shoulder.
  3. Roll pork shoulder into a round and tie up pork with butchers twine.
  4. Sprinkle lightly with spice mix and set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).
  6. In a cast oven-safe pot, drizzle olive oil and a pat of butter and bring to a medium to high heat and place pork shoulder in and brown on all sides.
  7. Toss in onions, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, and saute for 2 minutes stirring frequently.
  8. Pour in milk, cover, and place in an oven.
  9. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, turning pork halfway through and basting all along.
  10. Take out of oven and let rest 10 minutes.
  11. Take carrots out of braising liquid and strain liquid into a small saucepan.
  12. Bring to a boil and cook until desired thickness is achieved about 10 – 15 minutes.
  13. Take twine off pork shoulder and slice into 1/4 inch slices, plate and surround with cooked carrots, finish with a nice drizzle of sauce over top.
  14. Enjoy!
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Milk braised Pork Shoulder with Carrots

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13 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Lily {Gastro Senses} December 22, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Oh, this is definitely my kind of food! Looks delicious! Christmas is my favorite time of the year too. It’s full of joy, good feeling and e a wonderful time with family and friends!
    Happy holidays!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      Thank you Lily, it was a great find and deklivered totally on the texture and taste scale. Definately worth a try.
      Wishing you a joyful Christmas and an incredible New year!
      Cheers!
      loreto

  • Avatar
    Reply Food Meanderings December 22, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Guys, this looks amazing and I wish I could come over for dinner and try this! And your tie up job is really impressive- I have never tied up pirk or even braised pork for that matter🙂And I love the story of your Dad and your excitement at Christmas- I was exactly the same! Merry Christmas!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 23, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      Hi Terry, I love these memories, and thank you for your kinds words. I try my best and it turned out pretty good. I love having people over and sharing food and good conversation. I love learning about people and their life and experiences. Maybe one day we will have to organise a blogger gathering.
      Wishing you the best Christmas has to offer!
      Cheers!
      Loreto

      • Avatar
        Reply Food Meanderings December 23, 2017 at 5:24 pm

        I would love an AB bloggers gathering, Loreto! We are not too far away so I hope we can do that one day🙂 Merry Christmas!

  • Avatar
    Reply leslie-anne December 23, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    You’re so right about great quality, well raised pork tasting and looking different – it’s so much more flavourful, I can’t ever go back to worse quality pork! I love this recipe, it reminds me of Italy and so comforting!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 23, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      Thank you Leslie, These rustic slow cooked meat recipes reminds me of winter festive meals in Italy.Old recipes made by Nonnies and all the stories to go along with it, Priceless!
      Thank goodness for comfort foods!
      Have a wonderful Christmas!
      Cheers!
      Loreto

  • Avatar
    Reply diversivore December 26, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I very much enjoyed your Christmas reminiscences. I’m old school about my shopping habits too – I love to go to specialized markets, and I go out of my way to support my butcher shop when I can. You just can’t get the same kind of service at most grocery stores, and the quality is second-to-none.

    I’ve heard about milk-braised pork for years now and I keep meaning to try it (I think it’s mentioned in one of Michale Pollan’s books, though I can’t remember which one right now). Glad to see that it’s a pretty straightforward meal to make, and it certainly sounds mouth-watering! Cheers, and Merry Christmas!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 27, 2017 at 2:48 am

      Thank you so much Sean always look forward to reading your comments, and I agree with the service you get from a known local butcher. In Rome it is a norm, where we live we have a old marcelleria (butcher) and it is such a social experience to shop there and also to get great product. As far as milk braising, I have become a huge fan and I was so amazed at the tenderness of the pork shoulder and the flavor that the milk brought to the dish. I am going to try a chicken using this method of braising, will let you know how it turned out.
      Have a wonderful Christmas season and a most productive, joyful, abundant New Year.
      Cheers!
      loreto

  • Avatar
    Reply Denise from Urb'n'Spice December 26, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Braising is my all-time favourite cooking method and you have done a wonderful thing milk braising a pork shoulder. I can just imagine the fragrance in your kitchen while it slow-cooks. And by the way, I think you did an excellent job tying your roast! Hope your Christmas was filled with lots of laughter, good health, great food, excellent wine and wonderful folks to share it with.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 27, 2017 at 2:54 am

      Hi Denise, thank you it was a learning experience tieing up the shoulder but like many things it gets better with practice so thanks for the encouraging words. Yes the fragrance in the kitchen was amazing with scents of bay leaf peppercorn and that pork shoulder just lounging in that beautiful braising liquid. I absolutely loved the flavor and moist tenderness of this dish. I brough some to work the next day and everyone coming by my office was saying omg that smells so good. I love learning and discovering new things and this braising method was a pure joy to do and to enjoy! Christmas was good made the best of the situation, my parents are ill right now so just staying strong and positive and making the best of every moment.
      Hope you had a wonderful Christmas also and wish you the very best that the New Year will bring!
      Happy Holidays
      Loreto out!

  • Avatar
    Reply Snoopy March 19, 2019 at 4:08 am

    I make this recipe for my family of 4 the past Sunday and its a big hit…
    😈😈😈

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto March 20, 2019 at 9:44 pm

      That is absolutely wonderful. I am so grateful that you tried this recipe. People think milk, pork WHAT? but it is amazing what the milk does to the pork and the flavor combinations are spot on!. I am so happy it was a hit. You have given me a boost today. Thank you!
      Totally grateful!
      Loreto

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