24 August 2006

Pork Braised in Milk

Ok.. I must admit when I first read this post .. I thought.. 'Pork braised in Milk.. really ?!'

Interesting concept... But I wasn't really sure how it would turn out. I always have a bit of pork neck in my fridge though (courtesy of my local Asian butcher), so I gave this milk braising recipe a try. The result ? Well.. It doesn't really look pretty, but just as ChubbyHubby put it.. the pork turned out to be 'Tender & Soft'. Actually it was really tender, and the streaks of fat throughout the piece of pork neck was really tasty.

Pork Braised in Milk
Recipe adapted from ChubbyHubby ~ Pigfest

Marinate, then wrap the pork in glad wrap and refrigerate overnight:

  • 700g Pork Neck
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon thyme seeds (crushed)
  • 3 stalks fresh sage (leaves roughly chopped)
  • Salt & Pepper

Drizzle the pork with some olive oil, then on a medium-hot pan, brown all sides of the pork, then set aside.

In a dutch oven, bring the following to boil then reduce down to a simmer:

  • 1 1/2 cup full cream milk
  • 4 lemon rind peels
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 140C, then place the pork into the dutch oven with the milk mixture. Place the contents in the oven with the lid on for about 40 mins. After that, turn the piece of pork over and let it continue to braise for another 30 mins with the lid off.

Pork should be cooked nice and pink when the center of the meat reaches about 140C. (I used a meat thermometer to test this). After the 30 mins, take the pork out of the dutch oven, and let rest on a plate for about 5-7 mins before slicing up the pork.

Place the dutch oven on top of the stove, and bring the remaining braising liquid to boil to reduce down to a sauce. The sauce would be rather lumpy at this point in time, as the milk has curdled together. Although it doesn't look aesthetically pleasing... the sauce is really flavorful. You can always pour the reduced sauce into a blender, and blend it until its smooth. ChubbyHubby recommends this, but I've never really been bothered for the couple of times I've made this recipe. Serve the sliced pork with the heated sauce spooned over it.

Not pretty.. but it sure is tasty ! Or maybe its just my phototaking skills.... :(

20 August 2006

Potato Gratin

The classic potato gratin is pretty much putting together 3 thinly sliced yellow potatoes, 1 cup of heavy cream, butter and some salt & pepper. No onions. No cheese.

I'm sure anything with a whole cup of full cream and butter would taste great. However, I'm not sure my body would let me get away with it. So with my recipe, I've halved the cream and substituted the remainder with milk. I've also gone the not-so-classic way and added in some garlic, onions and cheese alternated between the potato layers.

Using a small casserole dish I was able to fit in about 4 whole potatoes.

Potato Gratin
  • 4 potatoes (golden ones for baking - not sure about the actual name)
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 3 clove of garlic (chopped finely)
  • 1 medium size brown onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 handfuls of shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Soften Butter (enough for the casserole dish and more for dotting)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

Peel and slice the potatoes thinly then leave soaked in a bowl of cold water (about 30 mins).

While that is soaking, chop the garlic and slice up the onion. Butter the casserole dish and sprinkly 1/2 of the chopped up garlic around the dish. Remove potatoes from the water and dry with a paper towel once it has had about 30 mins.

Stir and combine the milk and cream together with a fork.

Make a layer of potatoes, add some onions, salt & pepper, sprinkle with a bit of the garlic and dot with butter pieces. Drizzle with a bit of the cream\milk concoction. About 1/2 way up from the dish, sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat this until all the potatoes have been used. End the top with a dabbing of butter, the remainder of the cheese, the last bit of cream, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Finish up with the freshly grated nutmeg.

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