I had heard of this milk-braised pork dish, seen it on TV even and finally, I was able to taste a fantastic version earlier this year when I had lunch at the Purple Pig in downtown Chicago. The restaurant’s chef is half-Greek Jimmy Bannos Jr. and this is my riff on that superb pork dish that simply melted in our mouths.
My twist is to add celery and leeks, mimicking a Greek classic called Pork Prasso-selino and there’s wine and stock in the braising liquid to go along with the milk.
Milk, an odd way to braise meat and when you check the meat after a couple of hours you will indeed see that the milk had curdled but that’s okay. Once the sauce goes into a blender it becomes smooth, thickens and the dish becomes one fine comfort dish that’s ideal for Sunday entertaining.
I’ve included another take on mashed potatoes and one I use now when I host my Greek Supper Clubs. I don’t peel the potatoes but rather score each one around the middle and boil with skins on. The potatoes retain more nutrients, they taste better and finally, very easy to peel! Try it, you’ll love the result.
Milk Braised Pork With Leeks and Celery
4 -10 oz. pieces of boneless pork butt, trimmed of excess fat
salt and pepper
2 cups of sliced leeks
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 stalk of celery, sliced
3 bay leaves
12 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 glass of dry white wine
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
2 1/2 cups whole milk
For garlic mashed potatoes
6 large Yukon Gold (or other yellow fleshed) potatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
approx. 1 cup of whole milk (warm)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- Season your pork aggressively with salt and pepper. Place 2-3 Tbsp. of oil in a heaven oven-safe Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the meat on all sides and remove.
- Add the leeks, carrots and celery into the pot and stir in, sweat for 5-6 minutes. Tie the bay leaves and thyme with butcher’s twine and add the the pot along with wine, stock and milk.
- Bring up to a boil, preheat your oven to 325F. Taste and add some salt and pepper, cover and place in your pre-heated oven for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and check doneness with a fork (place back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes if still not fork tender).
- Remove from the oven, take out the pork and set aside, remove bay/thyme bundle and discard. Remove some pieces of leek, celery, carrots for garnish.
- Use a stick blender to puree the sauce or pour into a blender and puree. Reduce the sauce until thickened. Place the meat and reserved vegetables back in the sauce, keep warm.
- In the meantime, score the middle of each potato with a paring knife and place in a pot with the garlic and enough water to cold water to cover. Bring up to a boil, add salt and cook for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Strain, place the garlic back in the pot, use paper towels to easily peel off the skins and place potatoes i the pot. Add butter, mash, add milk and mash then adjust with salt and pepper. Add chives, stir in.
- Place a mound of mashed potatoes on each plate then a piece of pork, some vegetables and ladle over some sauce. Pair with a Thymiopoulos Earth & Sky Xinomavro.
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