Milk-cooked Pork with an apple, thyme and onion sauce and a crackling crumble

Milk-cooked Pork with an apple, thyme and onion sauce and a crackling crumble

Milk-braised pork is one of those dishes that isn’t cooked enough, but every time it is we remember how darn good it is. Braising in milk is a common way of preparing pork on the continent. Helping to tenderise the meat and keep even the leanest of cuts moist, it takes a good while longer than roasting, but the results are more than worth it.

We’re serving alongside a reduce apple, onion & thyme sauce, a crackling crumble, and some seasonal greens. Feel free to add polenta or baked potatoes, too.


COOKING TIME: Approx 90 minutes


1kg pork loin, skin on
Coarse sea salt
2 white onions, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 pints of milk (whole is preferred, but semi-skimmed is okay, too)
1 tbsp peppercorns
2 sprigs rosemary
3 bay leaves
2 semi-sweet apples (Granny Smith are perfect)
Knob of butter
4 sprigs of thyme (lemon thyme works well, too)
500ml apple juice
500ml chicken stock
Seasonal greens and polenta to serve


  1. First, remove the pork from the fridge around an hour before cooking. With a sharp knife, cut just beneath the skin and remove it from the piece of pork. You should be left with a flat piece of uncooked crackling and a chunky piece of the pork loin.
  2. Using the tip of a knife, score the skin. You shouldn’t be cutting all the way through – just use the very tip to make incisions about halfway deep. Rub sea salt into those scoring marks, cover with cling film and set to one side.
  3. In a stock pot, brown the pork all over in oil until it’s seared well. Remove once brown, and using the fat left in the pan sauté one of the onion and the garlic until soft.
  4. Add the pork back into the stock pot along with the milk, peppercorns, rosemary and bay leaves. The milk should cover the pork by about 1cm. Add more if needed. Using a low heat, gently simmer for about an hour. Check after 45 minutes – if the meat feels tender then remove it to rest.
  5. Whilst the pork is cooking, make the crackling. Using a paper towel, dab off any moisture from the skin of the crackling and add more salt. Heat your grill to medium-high.
  6. In a deep roasting dish (you’ll thank us for this hen the fat begins to spit), grill the pork skin until it’s blistered and crispy. This usually takes around 12 minutes. Remove and set to one side.
  7. When the pork is ten or so minutes away from being done, make the sauce. Remove the core and skin from the apples and chop them into small cubes. heat a frying pan over a medium heat, and add the apples, second onion and butter. Fry until soft and the apples are beginning to lose their shape.
  8. Add the apple juice, chicken stock and thyme. Reduce over a high heat until the sauce begins to thicken. season well with salt and pepper.
  9. Remove the pork from the milk. Whilst you finish off the sauce, leave it to rest on a board or plate, covered in foil.
  10. Once the sauce has reduced, remove the thyme sprigs. Smash the crackling into smaller pieces. Serve the pork sliced on a sharing platter alongside seasonal greens, polenta and dollops of the sauce and crackling on top.

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