Maiale al latte – milk-braised pork loin

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While it's not the most appealing dish to look at, this classic milk-braised pork loin recipe is beloved throughout Emilia-Romagna. As the pork cooks the milk separates into curds, soaking up the meat juices to create something very delicious indeed.

First published in 2019




  • 1.3kg pork loin, boneless with skin removed and fat trimmed, tied
  • olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of sage
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 80g of butter
  • 1 garlic bulb, sliced in half horizontally
  • lemon, zest peeled off into 4 strips
  • 1.5l whole milk
  • salt
  • pepper


Season the pork well with plenty of salt and pepper

Heat a good splash of oil in a large casserole dish over a medium heat. Place the loin into the pan to brown, turning occasionally for a nice even colour


Add the butter, garlic, lemon zest and herbs to the pan then top up with the milk. Adding the lemon zest splits the milk into curds and whey which does look a bit unappealing, but don't be alarmed, it tastes delicious!

Cover with a lid and leave to slowly simmer for 1.5–2 hours. Baste the pork every 30 minutes or so to prevent it from drying out
Remove the pork from the sauce and leave to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes
Whilst the pork is resting, you have time to prepare the sauce. Pick out the whole herbs, zest and garlic, then strain the sauce into a clean pan, reserving the curds. Place the liquid back over the heat and reduce to a thin gravy consistency.
The curds may look a bit strange but they are essentially a delicious porky ricotta, so don't waste them! Carve the pork and serve on a bed of the ricotta. Drizzle with the glossy gravy and serve with a big comforting bowl of creamy mashed potatoes or polenta

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