Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Roasted Vegetables

Just recently I heard about the magic of a milk braised pork shoulder.  It sounds a bit odd, as I wouldn’t normally expect to braise meat in milk (I suppose it doesn’t get any more unkosher than this), but what you end up with is tender pork and a delicious nut brown sauce that just melts into the pork.  Being a lactard, I opted for lactose free milk, but I think the result was the same.  I also roasted some vegetables, but you could serve with anything, including rice, which would have been a nice addition.

Truth be told, this is apparently one of Marcella Hazan’s well known dishes.  I don’t know that she was the first to do it, but being the Italian version of Julia Childs, I think we’ve gotta give her the props for the dish anyway.  Here is the method, and remember you could easily add potatoes, carrots to the pot and braise them as well.  I opted for just onions and spices.  Hazan’s recipe doesn’t call for that, but I think it makes the sauce better.


Serves 2-4 (depending on pork size)

3-6 lbs pork shoulder, preferably boneless (I used bone in)
4 cups whole milk (I used lactose free)
salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, whole and bruised
1/2 onion, 1/2 inch dice

1/2 teaspoon ground sage
2 bay leaves
1 sprig thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1 tablespoon oil (not olive)
3 tablespoons butter

Season pork with salt and pepper and let sit until room temperature (important for browning)

Heat oil and butter in large dutch oven or pot with lid over medium-high heat.  Once oil is hot, add pork shoulder and brown entire piece.  Do not go easy on this step.  You want it nicely carmelized on the entire shoulder.

Once browned, add 2 cups of milk, garlic, and all the other seasonings except the salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes and then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. You only want tiny bubbles to come up from the milk, not heavy boil.

Cook pork for about 1, flipping pork half way.  Open pot and skim away any fat.  Add remaining milk and cook slightly uncovered an additional hour, turning pork every 20 or 30 minutes.  Continue to cook until pork nearly falls apart when you flip it, skimming as much fat as possible from liquid.   The entire cooking process may take more than 2 hours with larger pork or with bone-in shoulder (for me closer to 3 hours 15 minutes)
Remove pork and set aside on cutting board, let rest for 10-15 minutes.
While the pork is resting, increase heat on remaining milk and reduce until about 1/2 cup is left. Skim fat and remove any large pieces of garlic, bay leaves and sprig of thyme.  If you have a hand blender, blend sauce until smooth.  Pull apart pork and top with sauce.  Serve with optional roasted vegetables and/or rice.  Enjoy!!

About Evan Halperin

I like to eat. I like to cook. I like to eat what I cook. Now, I will share with you what I like to cook. My wife and I may be a vegetarian and a carnivore, but it doesn’t mean we can’t cook a nice meal with both, without compromising taste. I will share my creative meals of the Carnivore and the Vegetarian.
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One Response to Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Roasted Vegetables

  1. iEatDC says:

    The only way to make this less kosher is to somehow incorporate shellfish. It looks amazing, super tender, and it's a beautiful color!

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