One of the many good things that comes from traveling is food inspiration! Things you’ve never tasted before become a new obsession. I returned from Chicago starry-eyed about more than one dish and ready to march right into the kitchen. I wrote down a list of what I wanted to recreate at home and at the top was the milk-braised pork shoulder from the Purple Pig. It sounded kind of boring at the restaurant, but our waitress said we had to try it. Always trust the expert. It proves that something simple can rival any complicated recipe.
I bought a beautiful pork shoulder roast from Whole Foods and the butcher asked me what I planned to do with it. I told him about the incredible pork shoulder we had in Chicago and that I was going to braise it in milk. He gave me a slightly confused look that turned into a nod after he thought about it. I’m getting used to people thinking I’m a little crazy and I think I like it.
I used thyme, bay leaves and lemon to flavor the braising liquid for a bright sauce to cut the richness of the pork. Instead of onions, I turned to leeks to add mild onion flavor, but also serve as vegetables on the side. It turned out beautifully.
This recipe is great for feeding a small group or you can make it on the weekend, like me, and use the leftover pork for a dinner remix during the week. Quesadillas here I come.