Pork cooked in milk (Maiale al latte)

We tried this recipe from Elizabeth David. It is a little tricky, and needs watching at the end. But it was fabulous


  • About 900g pork, preferably loin or boned leg, without the rind
  • For each 450g of meat, allow 550ml of milk, 25g butter and 25g of pancetta
  • Salt and pepper
  • An onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram, basil or fennel


  • In a pan that fits the meat neatly, melt the butter and brown the onion in it: the onion should be well cooked.
  • Add the pancetta to the onion and fry until the fat is browned.
  • Stick a clove of garlic inside the rolled meat, along with the coriander seeds and herbs. Rub the pork with salt and pepper and then brown it off in the butter along with the onion and ham.
  • In the meantime, heat the milk to boiling in a separate pan. When the meat is browned and heated up, pour the boiling milk gently over the top. Do not add any more salt and pepper from here on in
  • Keep the pan simmering at a moderate pace on the stove top, uncovered. Gradually the milk will form a skin over the meat, and the milk may curdle to make a grainy broth. Do not disutrb this until it has been simmering for a good hour.
  • After an hour or so, break the skin round the meat and scrape the sides of the pan, and stir it all in. The sauce should be beginning to thicken and reduce down at this stage. Keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn or start to stick. The sauce will reduce down to a very thick, granular texture, full of bits of onion and ham, like a tasty ricotta. The meat will be encased in a fine crust formed from the milk.
  • to serve, pour the sauce over the meat, and then slice it. It is divine hot or cold

We served it with leeks, broccoli and potatoes.