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For a really special meal start with the Gnocchi Verdi and serve the Pork Loin with the Cipolline in Agrodolce. Serve a light dessert as this is a pretty filling meal.

Pork Loin Braised in Milk

Pork cooked like this turns out to be exceptionally tender and juicy. The milk, as such, disappears, to be replaced by clusters of delicious, nut-brown sauce.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds pork loin in one piece, with some fat on it, securely tied

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 1/2 cups milk

Instructions

1. Heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat in a casserole large enough to just contain the pork. When the butter foam subsides ad the meat, fat side facing down. Brown the pork thoroughly on all sides, lowering the heat if the butter starts to turn dark brown.

2. Add the salt, pepper, and milk. (Add the milk slowly, otherwise it may boil over.) Shortly after the milk comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium, cover, but not tightly, with the lid partly askew, and cook slowly for about 1 1/2 to 2 hour, until a fork easily pierces the meat. Turn and baste the meat from time to time, and, if necessary, add a little milk. By the time the meat is cooked the milk should have coagulated into small nut-brown clusters. If it is still pale in color, uncover the pot, raise the heat to high, and cook briskly until it darkens.

3. Remove the meat to a cutting board and allow to cool off slightly for a few minutes. Remove the trussing string, carve into slices 3/8 inch thick, and arrange them on a warm platter. Draw off most of the fat from the pot with a spoon and discard, being careful not to discard any of the coagulated milk clusters. Taste and correct for salt. (There may be as much as 1 to 1 1/2 cups of fat to be removed.) Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of warm water, turn the heat to high, and boil away the water while scraping and loosening all the cooking residue in pot. Spoon the sauce over the sliced pork and serve immediately.

The Classic Italian Cookbook

Marcella Hazan