Lomo con leche
Pork cooked in milk with bay and cinnamon
Pork cooked in milk was one of our favourite dishes to cook at the River Cafe, so we were thrilled when we saw a similar recipe for it in a Spanish book using cinnamon and bay instead of lemon zest and sage.
1-1.5 kg boned organic or free-range pork loin, with skin removed
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, or a pinch of dried thyme
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves, preferably fresh
1.5 litres milk sea salt and black pepper
Trim the pork of excess fat and rub all over with salt, pepper and thyme. Place a large, heavy saucepan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the pork and seal until golden brown on all sides, but not too dark. Pour off any excess oil, add the cinnamon, bay and milk and bring to a gentle simmer, turning down the heat if necessary. Cook slowly with the lid half off for about 1-11/2 hours, turning the meat occasionally, or until the meat is cooked through, but still juicy and tender, making sure it does not catch on the bottom. The milk should have reduced into caramelised, nutty nuggets, and made a wonderful sauce subtly flavoured with cinnamon and bay. If it needs more time to reduce, remove the meat until the sauce is ready. Taste for seasoning. Let the meat relax for 5 minutes before slicing.
We serve this with Mashed Potato with Garlic (see page 231), some rocket or braised spinach (see page 234), and piquillo peppers fried in olive oil and garlic for colour.