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Milk-Braised Pork

Milk-Braised Pork


  • 4 lb boneless, skinless pork shoulder, cut into 2 lb pieces
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 heads of garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 4  bunches sage (about 20 leaves) or a mix of rosemary sprigs, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves
  • 2 chiles de árbol  or 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 2 " strips lemon peel
  • 2  Tbsp very finely chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper



This traditional Italian braised pork roast may not be one of the most photogenic dishes you’ll ever make, but it sure is one of the tastiest. The milk slowly caramelizes during cooking, and at the end, it will look as though the sauce is broken; however, the milk curds that form are the most delicious part of the sauce.

Serves 8
Total Time: 4.5 hours
Recipe by Andy Baraghani


1. Season pork generously with salt all over. Let sit at room temperature at least 1 hour, or preferably chill overnight, then let sit at room temperature 1 hour before cooking.

2. Preheat oven to 300°. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy wide saucepan over medium-high. Add garlic, cut sides down, and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer garlic to a plate. Add pork to pot and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown, 3–5 minutes. Turn and cook, reducing heat to medium if needed so it doesn't burn, until golden brown on all sides, another 3–5 minutes.

3. Return pork and garlic to the pot. Add milk, sage, chiles, and lemon peel. Transfer pot to oven and bake, uncovered, turning the pork every 30 minutes until meat is very tender and can easily be pierced with a paring knife and milk has reduced and formed curds, 2½–3 hours. Transfer meat to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes.

4. Using a spoon, skim off most of the fat from the braising liquid; discard sage and lemon peel. Taste sauce and season with salt, if desired.

5. Slice pork and transfer to a platter. Arrange roasted garlic alongside pork, if desired. Spoon sauce over. Top with parsley; season with pepper.


  • 2019 Côtes-du-Rôbles Rouge
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  • 2018 Le Petit Sanglier
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