Sunday, 30 January 2011

Lombo al latte - Pot-roasted pork in milk

Although common in Bologna, this is a cross-border dish that you might also  find in Lombardy or Tuscany or in the Veneto. It is a simple and irresistible way of pot-roasting pork by immersing it in garlic and sage perfumed milk with a hint of lemon.  Hardly kosher. Sonia, whose Mum was Jewish, from Naples, introduced me to this. Last night I served it with borlotti beans and shredded spring greens. The reserve merlot from Tenuta Bonzara, high up in the Bolognese Hills, would go well with this, gently cutting through the greasy richness of the pork, the sauce and the crackling. Pork loin is very nice but shoulder will do and it’s much cheaper.

Cooking hints: remove the skin from the pork, rub salt all over it and roast it separately.


4 tbl olive oil

1 onion

1 celery stick

1 carrot

4 cloves garlic left whole

1kg pork loin or shoulder, with the skin removed and scored through

1 sprig sage

4 bay leaves

1 litre milk

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2  lemon


1. Begin with the battuto: fry onion, celery, carrot and garlic in olive oil in a large roasting pan or casserole until they soften and the onion begins to brown.

2. Place the pork in the pan along with a bundle of bay leaves and sage. Add the zest of the lemon.

3. Add enough milk to cover the meat. Bring it to a rapid simmer, then reduce the heat until the milk is barely moving and place it in a slow oven for three hours.

4. Take it out and test the meat for tenderness with a metal skewer. If necessary, return it to the oven.

5. When it is done to your satisfaction, remove the meat from the pan and place it on a carving board, covered with foil to keep it warm.

6. Remove the bundle of herbs, season the pan juices with salt and pepper and a squeeeze of lemon and whiz up them up so that they form a smooth sauce. Re-heat for serving and pour into a jug.

7. Cut the meat into thick slices and arrange on a serving dish together with the crisp roasted skin (if that’s what you’ve done). Hand around the dish and the jug of meat juice.

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