One-Pot Wonders

Milk-Braised Pork with Citrus and Bay

January 28, 2018
5 Ratings
Photo by aargersi
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

My husband brings me recipes that he finds in books and magazines, things he thinks we should try. One of them, a little while back, was milk-braised pork, which I made and was good but not, you know, fabulous. So, I adjusted the flavors, used a bit more milk because I am a lotsa sauce person, and baked some no-knead bread for slopping. This is slow, weekend cooking at its best! —aargersi

What You'll Need
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder or butt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 orange
  • 2 lemons
  • 8 bay leaves (fresh is better)
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Heat the oven to 275° F. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Salt and pepper the pork. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven and brown the pork on all sides.
  2. Remove the pork to a plate and put the onions and allspice in the pan. Cook until the onions soften and begin to collapse a bit.
  3. Add the pork and any collected juices back in to the pan. Use a peeler to cut wide strips of zest from the lemons and orange into the pan, avoid the pith. Add the bay leaf. Stir the baking soda into the milk and pour it in. Cover the pot and put it in the oven.
  4. 1 1/2 hours later, turn the pork over. Maybe take a nap.
  5. After another 1 1/2 hours, it’s essentially done. The milk is going to look weird and curdled—that’s normal. Take the pork out of the milk again, and fish out the bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to whiz the onions and milk into a smooth emulsion. Taste for salt. It’s going to be fairly thin, perfect for bread! Add the pork and bay back in. You can serve it now, or reheat later, the leftovers are pretty amazing.
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Recipe by: aargersi

Country living, garden to table cooking, recent beek, rescue all of the dogs, #adoptdontshop

14 Reviews

Greg C. January 8, 2024
This dish not only delivers an amazingly wonderful aroma throughout the kitchen. It delivers a depth of flavors and complexity that few dishes can. The flavors of citrus, bay leaf and onion blend together so well when braised in the milk. And to have pull-apart pork as the main The dish is not difficult by any stretch but crusty bread is a must. Can't wait to have leftovers!
Striga March 12, 2018
The sauce is so tasty! I used (quite lean) pork butt stripe rolled up and fixed with a skewer so the meat did not fall apart - and it was great. Next time I'll try pork shoulder, just for comparison (but I am sure it will work well too).
eartoday March 5, 2018
I had another recipe for this that said you could use a boneless pork loin roast - big mistake - the pork was dry, even after the braising in milk, and it shredded - I guess using the pork butt or shoulder is a better option, but can you slice the pork when using these cuts?
aargersi March 5, 2018
I too tried a loin and it was dry, you need the fat of a shoulder or butt, and they are more a pull apart as opposed to a slice situation...
Rhonda35 March 1, 2018
"Maybe take a nap" - LOL, I like your style! I've been making pork or chicken braised in milk for years, but look forward to trying your version. I didn't know the baking soda trick, nor had I ever thought to use my immersion blender for a smoother sauce - thanks for both of those tips!
pamelalee February 28, 2018
This looks delicious. Would it work with bone-in pork? If, how would you adjust the recipe? Thanks!
aargersi March 1, 2018
Yes it would work fine, just account for the bone weight when calculating how much pork you want to serve ... other than that just go with the recipe, it cooks long enough already that I don’t expect you will need additional time.
JorPet February 22, 2018
I made this last night to give it a try. I liked that it took about 20 minutes tops to prep it and have it in the oven. I was a bit concerned that it would be overly lemony, but with the milk, pork and all spice it blended really well and the flavors were all really evenly level. I did half the bay leaves as my son isn't a fan and I didn't want it to be to strong, but with the citrus and all spice it wasn't really noticeable at all, so next time I'll go the full eight leaves. I also really liked how the pork picked up the flavors really well, so even just eating the pork you get a great taste of every flavor.

My 16 year old son loved it as well and said this should become part of the regular rotation of dinners. He had it on a bed of farro and said that worked really well, I didn't get that, because carbs, but it was just as good straight up. I think the next time I'll match it with the citrusy Kale Salad That Started it All, that would be a great match.
cookinginvictoria February 16, 2018
Congratulations, Abbie! Love your spin on pork braised in milk, especially with the addition of citrus and fresh bay leaves. This looks like great chilly weather comfort food . . . just added it to my "must make soon" list!
monica February 16, 2018
Sounds worth giving it a go, but what is the baking soda for?
aargersi February 19, 2018
It helps prevent the milk from curdling .. though it still breaks a bit, it’s easily whizzed back to smoothness
monica February 21, 2018
How about that..learn something new every day! Thanks for the quick response and congrats to you
bhilz February 15, 2018
This looks so delicious! Do you remove the citrus peels too before blending the sauce?
aargersi February 19, 2018
I didnt, I blended them in, but you can if you’d like a more subtle citrus flavor