Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Milk-Braised Pork (Page 477)

  • Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2008 -- 9pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B+

In the winter I always feel compelled to braise, and this year is no exception. I have never used milk as a braising medium before, so I was curious if it would be delicious or repulsive (or something in between). Here's the thing about this dish: if you were visually impaired, or choosing to eat dinner with your eyes closed, I would highly recommend it. It was very, very tasty. The pork was deliciously tender -- it fell apart with the touch of a fork. And the sauce was rich and caramely. Yum! But if you had plans to look at your plate while eating, I'm not sure I can, in good conscience, recommend this to you. It was visually unappealing to an extreme. The milk sauce curdled (or something -- there were nasty chunks of white stuff floating in it). So I strained it, which helped, but not enough... It just had a truly disgusting appearance. It was partially separated, with a weird grainy look to it. Foolishly I chose the picture which hid this fact the best. I should have posted a picture more accurately representing the dish. This dish was ugly. It was ugly enough that it was hard to eat, despite its delicious flavor. So would I make it again? Maybe. But only for me -- I couldn't possibly serve this to someone else.

Here is the recipe.

Matty is flying back to Indianapolis from California late tonight, and leaving for another trip early tomorrow morning. So I am going to go meet him in Indy and we are staying there tonight. Since he is getting in so late, I am packing a little hotel picnic because it's likely that all the restaurants will be closed. This sounds like a nice gesture, but my picnic is pretty ghetto. So far I've pack a couple beers, some microwave popcorn (already popped -- you never know if there is going to be a microwave), some apples, a peeled orange (leftover from when I needed orange zest earlier tonight), some scones from The Book, and some deviled ham with bread (yup, that's from The Book too). It's a good thing he already loves me! I have, in my life, packed several actually delicious picnics -- yummy sandwiches, pasta salads, cookies -- the kind of picnic Matty certainly deserves. But life is busier now, and anyone crazy enough to eat with me has obviously resigned themselves to eating almost exclusively from The Book. And I have devoted myself to my project with such single-mindedness that the only food in my apartment is Book leftovers, the makings for upcoming Book recipes, random ingredients left from previous Book experiments, and pantry staples (i.e. beer and microwave popcorn). With those choices, picnics turn out as described above!

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