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Milk-braised pork (maiale al latte) on plate with veg to side
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5 from 4 votes

Milk-braised pork (maiale al latte)

This traditional Italian milk-braised pork is easy to make, and the pork is tender and delicately flavored. So good.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 40 mins
Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 or more
Calories: 314kcal
Author: Caroline's Cooking


  • 2 lb pork shoulder 900g
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper or more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled but left whole
  • 2 stems sage approx 10 leaves
  • 2 cups whole milk 480ml
  • ½ lemon zest (ie zest from ½ lemon, in wide strips)


  • Sprinkle salt and pepper over all sides of the pork fairly generously.
  • Preheat the oven to 300F/150C.
  • Warm the oil over a medium-high heat in a cast iron pot large enough to hold the piece of pork in a single layer, but not much bigger.
  • Brown the pork on all sides, leaving it to get a good sear before turning. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside on a plate.
  • Reduce the heat a little and add the garlic cloves and sage sprigs. Soften them both slightly, without letting them burn, then add back the pork to the pot with the sage and garlic around it.
  • Add the strips of lemon zest, pour over the milk (it should come to around ¾ of the way up the pork - if not, add some more milk) and warm to bring to a simmer.
  • Transfer the dish to the oven, uncovered, and cook for around 2 ½ hours until the pork is very tender to a knifepoint, turning the pork every half hour.
  • Once done, remove the pork to a cutting board and leave to rest a couple minutes before slicing. Meanwhile skim the fat and excess thin liquid from the milk and take out the lemon and sage. Serve some of the curd sauce over the pork, with the garlic on the side. (Note if you want a smoother sauce, you can blend the skimmed sauce before serving.)



If you want to cook a larger quantity, you can easily double the quantity of meat, but I'd suggest cutting in to two 2lb pieces to help it cook a little quicker and more evenly. Then uses a larger pot, some more garlic, sage and lemon and milk, though you may not need double of all. Cooking time should be around the same, a little more if the chunks of meat are larger. 


Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 303mg | Potassium: 642mg | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 198IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 2mg