Saturday, January 9, 2016


Not that it’s been very cold here in southern Spain. The mimosa was blooming at Christmas, the almond trees for New Year. Nevertheless, slow-cooked, braised meat is such a comforting winter’s meal. Looking for a way to cook a hunk of pork (boneless shoulder), I came across my recipe for lomo con leche—pork loin braised in milk, a recipe from Galicia (northwest Spain).

I haven’t made this in years, because I recall how dry the loin was after braising. Honestly, I don’t know why pork loin is so appreciated. Yes, it’s a compact shape with no connective gristly bits. It’s terrific sliced and flash-fried with garlic. I don’t even care for bone-in loin chops—except for those marbled-with-fat ibérico ones. Loin just doesn’t have enough fat to keep it juicy.

Pork shoulder braised in milk, with sides of mashed potatoes and rainbow chard.

However, I sort of remembered the delicious gravy from that pork braised in milk. So, I used my piece of pork shoulder in the recipe. Yes! The meat was tender and juicy in about 1 ½ hours. The gravy is not thickened with flour. After the meat is removed, the sauce is reduced. The milk thickens into tiny curds.

Lots of gravy to ladle on the potatoes.
With such good gravy, mashed potatoes make a good side. (I mashed the potatoes with olive oil, then ladled some of the cooking liquid into the potatoes to smooth them.) Galician greens, such as grelos, broccoli rabe, go with the pork. I cooked rainbow chard from the garden. I think next time I make this, I’ll braise a bunch of tiny onions with the pork.

Sieve out the bay leaves, cinnamon, garlic and peppercorns. Or--

Or, leave the peppercorns in the sauce.

Pork Braised in Milk
Lomo con Leche

2 ½ pounds boneless pork roast (blade or Boston butt roast)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil or lard
4 cups whole milk
4 cloves garlic, slightly crushed
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
½-inch cinnamon stick
Freshly grated nutmeg
2 bay leaves

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper and allow it to come to room temperature. Heat oil or lard in a pan and slowly brown the meat on all sides.

Brown meat, then add milk.

Add the milk, unpeeled garlic, black peppercorns, cinnamon, nutmeg, bay leaves and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pan.

Cook 30 minutes and turn the meat. Cook 30 minutes more and turn the meat. Cook until meat is very tender when probed with a skewer, 30 to 40 minutes more. 

Braised pork shoulder is tender and juicy.
Remove meat to a cutting board. Sieve the remaining liquid, discarding bay leaves, cinnamon and garlic. (If desired, return the peppercorns to the cooking liquid.) Place it in a small saucepan and cook, uncovered, until sauce is reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes.

Slice the meat and serve with the sauce.

Another recipe for braised pork is here.

And, if you really want pork loin, try these recipes:


  1. In some parts of Spain if you get the bay leaf you have to wash up☺

    1. Meabh: OK, I've never heard that! Good reason to leave the bay leaf in the sauce!