Italian Pork Roast braised with milk, fresh herbs, and lemony polenta is a recipe that takes simple ingredients and turns them into a down-right mouthwatering dish. Milk-braised pork is a regional favorite of Bologna, a city in the Emilia-Romagna region. Just think, all it takes is a chunk of pork, milk, wine, some herbs and you have a meal fit for royalty. And then, to tweak the recipe a bit, we decided to add dried porcini mushrooms. We love the earthy flavor the porcini gives a recipe. To help soak up the delicious gravy, we made a creamy lemony polenta.
For this recipe, you will need:
- pork roast
- whole milk
- heavy cream
- porcini mushrooms
- dry white wine
- olive oil
- anchovy paste
- red pepper flakes
- chicken broth
- Parmesan cheese
Where to find milk in Italian pork roast
In central and northern Italy it is very common to braise meat or poultry in milk. Jaime Oliver has a very popular recipe -- Chicken in Milk. I have yet to try his recipe but I know many bloggers who have and they say it's superb!
Normally a pork rib roast or a pork loin roast is used for this recipe. Since we had a Costco pork sirloin tip roast in the freezer, we decided to use it instead.
Costco sells these pork roasts in a package of three and we find them very budget friendly and versatile.
Milk Tenderizes Meat
When the Italian pork roast cooks in milk, it becomes tender, and the milk turns into a delicious nutty-tasting sauce.
Do you remember this is what happened with our Bolognese Sauce Antica? Meat cooked slowly in milk turns the meat incredibly tender.
Adding heavy cream to the Italian pork roast as it cooks ensures that the sauce is smooth with no curds. The reconstituted dried porcini we decided to add, gives the dish an added sophistication.
Brown pork roast first
We browned our Italian pork roast in a deep iron skillet then transferred it to our slow-cooker. It only took the Italian pork roast an hour to cook to 145°F.
Depending on the size and shape of a pork roast, it could take a little bit longer. It's always wise to use an instant-read thermometer.
We transferred the Italian pork roast to a platter and then used our emersion blender right in the slow cooker to purée the sauce and mushrooms.
Milk tender Italian Pork Roast with lemony polenta.
We served our Italian pork roast with lemony polenta which complimented the rich dish perfectly. The polenta acts just like mashed potatoes soaking up the yummy milky sauce on the plate.
Lucky for us we had enough Italian pork roast leftover that we were able to freeze a portion of the scrumptious meal for another time. 🙂
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Tutti a tavola è pronto!
Tutti a tavola è pronto!
Un caro saluto e alla prossima.
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When cooler weather gets here our Slow Cooker like this one gets lots of use. The nice part about this one is that it has lots of options plus you can brown your meat in it. In this recipe we used such a high heat we did it in our iron skillet.
Italian Pork Roast with Milk and Fresh Herbs and Lemony Polenta
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pork loin roast 3-4lb. or 1 pork sirloin tip roast (2-3 lb.) seasoned with salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- ½ cup dry white wine we used Pinot Grigio
- 1 ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ oz. dried porcini mushrooms reconstituted in warm water, chopped **
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- Minced zest of one lemon
- 2 sprigs each fresh rosemary and sage tied with kitchen string.
- 2 cups chicken broth low-sodium
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- ¼ cup Parmesan grated
- 2 tablespoon butter unsalted
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest minced
- salt q.b.
- black pepper q.b.
- Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until butter melts. Add pork, fat side down, and sear until brown, 3-4 minutes. Brown pork on all sides, about 5 minutes more; transfer to a 4- to 6-qt. slow cooker. Add garlic to skillet; cook 30 seconds.
- Deglaze skillet with wine, scraping up any brown bits. Add milk, cream, porcini, anchovy paste, pepper flakes, and zest; simmer 3 minutes. Pour milk mixture around pork in slow cooker; submerge rosemary and sage. Cover slow cooker and cook pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part register 145 degrees F on low setting, 2 hours. Transfer pork to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Discard rosemary and sage.
- Purée sauce in the slow cooker with a handheld blender until smooth; season with salt and black pepper.
- Slice pork and serve with sauce and Lemony Polenta.
- Whisk together the broth, buttermilk, and cornmeal in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and cook, whisking constantly, about 5 minutes; remove from heat.
- Stir in Parmesan, butter, and zest; season with salt and pepper.
- ** Save the porcini broth for later use by pouring the juice through a coffee filter to remove any impurities.
- We had leftover polenta that we sliced and browned in a heavy iron skillet with a little olive oil and butter.
- Adapted from Cuisine at Home February 2014 issue.