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Milk braised pork shoulder

This unusual cooking method is a classic from Northern Italy, the lactic acid in the milk, tenderising the pork as it cooks; making the meat wonderfully succulent and giving the dish a deep well rounded flavour. As the meat cooks, caramelised milk curds will form in the sauce. Serve these nutty sweet curds carefully spooned over the meat, drizzled with the remaining sauce.

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Serves 8

Ingredients

3kg 191672 Homestead Pork skinless pork shoulder
20 sage leaves
5 generous sprigs rosemary, leaves removed
3 sprigs lemon thyme
164146 Cornish sea salt, to season
10 cloves garlic
1 brown onion, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons 59060 Alfina's extra virgin olive oil
1L 150002 Caterers' Choice full cream milk
200ml 144592 Caterers' Choice cream
2 fresh bay leaves
Peel of 2 lemons (a vegetable peeler works well for this)

Walnut crumble
2 teaspoons 59060 Alfina's extra virgin olive oil
100g 63974 Caterers' Choice walnuts, roughly chopped
10 small sage leaves
1 lemon, finely zested
A handful parsley leaves, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili flakes

Method

Roughly chop half of the sage, rosemary and lemon thyme. Generously season the pork with sea salt and the chopped herbs. Wrap tightly in clingfilm overnight.

Remove pork from fridge and bring to room temp (1-2 hours depending on the temperature of the day). Pre-heat the oven to 170˚C. Using a napkin sized piece of cooking muslin, make a loose pouch for the aromatics, filled with the garlic, onion and remaining herbs, secure with cooking twine (leaving a long enough tail to hang outside the pot for easy retrieval).

Heat the oil in a heavy casserole or Dutch oven with a well-fitting lid, unwrap the marinated pork, add to the pan browning until golden all over, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the meat and drain excess grease from the pan. Put the meat back in the pan, add the milk, cream, bay leaves, lemon peel, and aromatics pouch. Bring the cream to just boil, then reduce the heat to low, put the lid on and simmer for 30 minutes before transferring to the centre of the oven. Braise for 2 hours, turning the meat once, until the pork is meltingly tender and the milk has formed golden curds.

While the meat is cooking, make the walnut crumble. Heat the olive oil in a small fry pan, add the walnuts and sage then sauté for a minute or two until golden. Remove from the heat and stir through lemon zest, parsley and chili. Set aside.

Carefully remove the meat, cover and set aside to rest. Remove the muslin pouch, set aside to cool slightly. With a slotted spoon remove the curds to a warm bowl, strain the remaining liquid into the same bowl. Retrieve the cloves of garlic from the muslin bag, keep with the curds.

Pull or slice the meat, pile onto a serving platter, spoon over the curds and garlic, drizzle with the sauce, season with salt and pepper and a final drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with the walnut crumb, serve with a finely sliced salad of orange, fennel, peppery leaves (water cress or mustard cress) with a white wine vinegar dressing and warm olive focaccia.

 

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