Recently I've realised that I rarely get chance to cook anymore. I get to eat out a fair bit, which is great, but it does mean that I'm forgetting what my kitchen looks like. Even when at home I don't really get the chance to cook as I don't get in from work until 7pm, by which time I need something quick and easy (generally pasta or grilled fish and salad).
So this weekend I was determined to get in the kitchen and cook a proper meal. I did seriously consider this Fergus Henderson rabbit recipe, which is stupendously gorgeous, but I fancied trying something new. So I poured over my HFW Meat book and my River Cafe Cook Book and, amongst other things, I came across two different varients of recipes for pork cooked in milk.
As a lover of Roman cooking, and knowing that this recipe was in my Cooking the Roman Way by David Downie;a book I've used a few times in the past both here and here, I decided to go with Downie's recipe.
I needed a three pound pork roast; neck, shoulder or loin so I headed down to Castle Market (with my shopper) and made my way to Waterall Bros Ltd who had some perfectly rolled and tied joints of pork shoulder. Three pounds of meat set me back £5.88. It would have been £6.38 had I wanted it dipped in brine, but as I was cooking it in milk I declined on the dip.
Once at home I set about preraing the meat by making 16 incissions in the meat and stuffing them with a quarter of a clove of garlic and a spring of rosemary each. I then tucked two stalks of rosemary under the string binding the roast, seasoned the meat and set about browning it in a large pan. In the meantine I heated up four pints of milk to boiling point.
Once the pork had browned nicely (it took about 10 minutes of turning the meat to ensure all sides were browned) I poured off the fat and set the pan to one side as I waited for the milk to boil. Once boiling I poured the milk into the pan with the pork, cooked it at a slow boil for 20 minutes with the pan lid on (turning the meat from time to time) and then with the lid off for 2 hours (again turning the milk from time to time).
As the meat cooked, the milk started to curdle. This is absolutely what I wanted to happen and once the two hours were up, I removed the meat from the pan, sliced it up to serve and turned the heat up under the milk mix to curdle it even further (it took about 10 minutes).
I then spooned some of the curdle mix over the meat and served it up with some cabbage and buttered bread.
OH MY GOD!
The pork was beautifully tender and very tasty as the garlic and rosemary had worked its way through the meat, which had somehow taken on some of the milkiness too. The curdle was also delicious, packed with those garlic and rosemary flavours and the juices from the meat.
I will do this one again. Soon.