Milk-braised pork loin recipe


Maiale al latte, or pork cooked in milk, is not only one of the most delicious roasts in the Italian canon but also one of the simplest. Traditionally, a boneless pork roast is browned in a little fat and then braised in milk, often with a few garlic cloves and some fresh sage. The meat turns out supple and juicy, and the milk cooks down to form a lush, deeply savory sauce. But the sauce is typically unattractive, drab in color and lumpy from the curdled dairy, plus the dish can have a one-note richness. We set out to make the sauce look more appealing and add some complexity. We chose a boneless loin roast since this lean cut wouldn’t make the dish overly rich. Brining the pork seasoned it throughout and kept it moist during cooking.

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Total Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes


  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 (2- to 2½-pound) boneless pork loin roast, fat trimmed to ¼ inch
  • 2 ounces salt pork, chopped coarse
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
How to Make It
  1. Dissolve ¼ cup salt and sugar in 2 quarts cold water in large container. Submerge roast in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 1½ to 2 hours.
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Remove roast from brine, pat dry with paper towels, and tie at 1-inch intervals with kitchen twine. Bring salt pork and ½ cup water to simmer in Dutch oven over medium heat. Simmer until water evaporates and salt pork begins to sizzle, 5 to 6 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until salt pork is lightly browned and fat has rendered, 2 to 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, discard salt pork, leaving fat in pot.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high and heat fat in pot until just smoking. Brown roast on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes; transfer to plate. Add milk, garlic, sage, and baking soda to fat left in pot and bring to simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Cook, stirring frequently, until milk is lightly browned and has consistency of heavy cream, 14 to 16 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring and scraping bottom of pot constantly, until milk thickens to consistency of thin batter, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
  4. Return roast and any accumulated juices to pot, cover, and transfer to oven. Cook until pork registers 140 degrees, 30 to 50 minutes, flipping roast halfway through cooking.
  5. Remove pot from oven. Transfer roast to carving board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Add wine and any accumulated meat juices to pot and bring to simmer over medium-high heat, whisking vigorously to smooth out sauce. Cook until sauce has consistency of thin gravy, 2 to 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in 2 tablespoons parsley and mustard, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard twine and slice roast into ¼-inch-thick slices; arrange on serving platter. Spoon sauce over slices and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley. Serve.

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