Posts tagged ‘braise’

January 15, 2011

Milk Braised Pork

adapted from almostbourdain! (awesome site, btw)

some thoughts: love the flavor. i just don’t like pork loin. will try with pork shoulder next time /: i don’t understand america’s fascination with making our pork leaner and leaner. it just doesn’t TASTE good. and you’re still fat. so bring on the lardy pigs. let them eat. so that we may eat better. we’re fat anyway. might as well enjoy it.

oh, and white meat chicken. what IS that. also not good. why do americans like eating white meat? gross. but that’s another story for another time.


  • 1 1/2 lb boneless pork loin
  • 2-3 cups whole milk
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 leek (whites only) diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbs flour
  • salt + white pepper
  • 1 tsp butter
  • olive oil

*PS: you like my new salt jar? xmas present from the lovely angeline. 😀 i LOVE it. i love it so much i huGGED it when i first unwrapped it. hugged. a salt jar. probably should’ve hugged the gift giver instead. ‘s ok. she doesn’t like hugs. family genetics, indeed.


  1. salt + pepper loin. set aside. (alton brown says not to pan sear COLD meat. let it sit on the counter for a bit. more even cooking this way. you will not die.)
  2. preheat oven to 275F.
  3. heat olive oil in bottom of dutch oven.
  4. add butter
  5. pan sear loin on each side until golden brown, ~ 5min.
  6. remove loin onto a plate and set aside.
  7. add and saute onions, leak, garlic + bay leaf and thyme. ~5 min
  8. mix in flour then add milk. bring to a low boil then reduce to simmer
  9. add meat, redistribute your veggies and spoon plenty of milk/veggies over the top.
  10. pop in oven for 30 min.
  11. remove from oven and turn loin over. baste, stir liquids, then pop back into oven for another 30 min.
  12. here’s where you play it by ear. i dont have a fancy food thermometer. anyway, when you think it’s done, take loin out and set aside for at least 5 min before cutting to let the juices redistribute (again, thank you alton brown)
  13. spoon curdled mess into blender. add more cornstarch/flour if needed to thicken. pulse until creamy smooth
  14. slice up your pork and spoon over gravy.
  15. serve. (i blanched some simple hericot verts as a side. perhaps potatoes would be nice. but i wanted some greeeen.)

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October 3, 2010

De-virginizing my Le Creuset

photo 1

and what better way to do it than with an Apricot Lamb Tagine?


  • 2 lamb shanks (or 2 lb lamb shoulder)
  • 1/4 cup flour (optional)
  • 1 med yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced in coins
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 can chickpeas (sans sodium)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbs tumeric
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 3-4 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves, whole
  • salt


  1. place spices in a blender (go magic bullet!) and blast it to oblivion.
  2. rub down shanks with as much of the spices you need. Salt generously. Typically I let the meat sit out for 30 minutes or so, to let it come to room temperature. Otherwise you’ll get uneven cooking.
  3. preheat oven to ~250F
  4. heat dutch oven on med-high heat. (optional: dredge shanks in thin coat of flour.) add oil and let it come to a shimmer. sear shanks, one at a time (if pot is too small) until brown on each side, 5 min each. thongs are your friend. Don’t crowd, as this will steam and not sear your meat. 
  5. remove shanks. add onions and carrots to pan and saute until soft – 3min, scraping off all the fatty goodness stuck to the sides of the pot. add a bit of broth to de-glaze. Salt generously.
  6. add tomatoes, enough stock to completely submerge veggies, and rest of the seasoning. bring to a boil then reduced to simmer.
  7. place shanks over veggies and spoon stock over it. top off stock to a level half way up the shanks. cover and pop it in the oven. the key to braising is long time at low heat! there shouldn’t be an audible bubbling.  sIMMER. bubbles should surface periodically, not constantly. each hour or two, flip shanks over to submerge the previously exposed side, spooning stock over before you re-cover. Do a taste test and salt again if needed.  Braise for 3+ hours. Add apricots and chickpeas and continue to braise until cooked through. (30-45 minutes or so)
  8. Remove from oven, let it cool, and stick it in the fridge over night. spoon off fat the next morning and heat over medium low heat on the stove to warm it up. It WILL taste better the next day. I promise.

yum yum yum. we ate it with chinese 抓餅, a flaky doughy flat bread –>


add apricots towards the end! those little f-ers disintegrate like none other.

i actually braised 2 hours stove top, then 3 hours oven. way too hard to control the level of heat via stove top, and the part of the shank that was exposed to air dried out. luckily this was salvageable, as 1 hour in the oven with the dried part submerged remedied this quite nicely. next time i braise ONLY in the oven at low heat. (225? 5 hours?) more even cooking, less turning required. and turning/stirring = having to remove the lid =lose moisture.

the way i broke up the time (2 hours, then refrigerate, then 3 hours, etc) is completely arbitrary. does not matter. as  long as the damn thing cooks. under cooking = tough. don’t be afraid of cooking it a little longer. sounds counter intuitive, i know.

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