Deceptively simple, this recipe for milk-braised pork chops surprises with its rich, complex flavors. It is best made using a pork butt roast but, unless I want leftovers (and the leftovers are delicious) or I don't have time to cook a roast, I make it with a couple of pork loin chops. The results aren't as fall-apart tender as they are using a butt roast, but the flavor is just as good.
Braising is a moist-heat cooking method and means cooking meat slowly in some type of liquid in an enclosed pot with low heat. In this case, the liquid is milk, which eventually becomes a sauce. See more about this technique, below, after the recipe directions.
Makes 2 servings Milk-Braised Pork Chops.
- 2 (1-inch-thick) pork loin chops
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 cloves garlic (whole, peeled)
- 1/2 teaspoon sage (rubbed)
- 2 teaspoons butter (room-temperature)
- 2 teaspoons flour (all-purpose)
- Heat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Generously season chops with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet. Brown chops on both sides.
- Arrange chops in an 8x8-inch baking dish and add enough of the 1 1/2 cups milk so it comes halfway up the sides of the meat. Add 2 whole peeled cloves of garlic and 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage.
- Tightly cover baking dish with foil and place in center of oven. Cook for 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven, turn chops over, re-cover, and return to oven for another 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, thoroughly mix together 2 teaspoons room-temperature butter and 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour (this is called a beurre manié).
- Set chops on a plate and purée the pan juices of milk, garlic and sage in a blender.
- Pour the purée into a skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Stir in beurre manié and continue stirring until thickened. Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve over chops.
About Milk Braising
Most braising liquids include stocks, wine, beer or just plain old water. Braising in milk exists in many cultures and is thought to have originated in Italy with pork. But, certainly, the technique exists in Thai and other Asian cuisines where coconut milk is used and, undoubtedly, goat milk in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine.
It is believed milk’s lactic acid tenderizes the pork, making it receptive to soaking up the flavors in the sauce. The pan juices become a sort of milk gravy.
Here is another recipe for Milk-Braised Pork Chops.