When I started getting interest in cooking some years ago, my lovely sister gave me the Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook. It is a great book. He explains with a sensor of humor some classical French dishes. But my favorite part is what he said on the introduction. Basically, he said that cooking isn’t in the blood. You need the will, the desire, the determination, the persistence, the passion, the curiosity, the start over and the love to cook well. With his words, I wanted to learn to cook everything. So I started with the Rôti de Porc au lait (Braised Pork with Milk).
There are several ways to prepare a pork loin. You can grill, roast, fry… Well, I think everyone has your favorite method. Now, mine is “Braised Pork with Milk” because the result is a juicy and tender piece of pork. This recipe requires two important steps that shall be followed. First, you have to brown the pork loin on all sides to seal the meat and to conserve the juicy inside of it. The second one is the milk. It has to be fat milk, otherwise you won’t get the wonderfully sweet flavor and meat moist that this recipe provides. Normally, I use pork loin, but this time I changed it for pork tenderloin. The result was also fantastic!
Rôti de Porc Au Lait - Braised Pork with Milk
(from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook)
3 lb / 1.35 kg boneless pork loin roast or pork tenderloin
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp / 28 ml olive oil
1 tbsp / 14 g butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp flour
2 cups / 450 ml whole milk
1 bouquet garni (1 sprig of flat parsley, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf, tiedtogether with string. Tying the bundle in cheesecloth makes it easier to retrieve from the pot)
Cook The Pork: Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in the Dutch oven. When the oil is hot, add the butter. Brown the roast on all sides, 6 to 7 minutes total. Remove the roast from the pan and set aside on the large plate. Add the onion, carrot, leek, and garlic and stir over high heat until soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stirring constantly, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, then add the milk and the bouquet garni. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Add the pork and any juices that have collected on the plate. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour, making sure to periodically rotate the pork (the sugars) in the milk can cause sticking and scorching). Remove the pork and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Finish the sauce and serve: Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Strain the cooking liquid into a small pot and bring to a boil. Using a hand blender, puree the sauce until foamy. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
Carve the pork and arrange on a serving platter. Spoon the sauce over and around and serve immediately.