This unique and delicious recipe is from a fantastic book by Claudia Roden on the food of Spain – a must for any fan of Mediterranean cooking.
A slight adaptation of the original recipe, Pork loin is cooked in milk and spices on the stovetop – some of the milk is then used to create a caramel sauce which is heady with the aromatics of the cooking liquor. Cooking the caramel right to the edge imparts a slight bitterness which stops the sauce from becoming too sweet. Cooking the pork in milk also keeps it super tender.
This really is a must try!
Pork Loin with Caramel
1kg Pork Loin
1.5 Litres Semi-Skimmed Milk (Warmed)
1 Cinnamon Stick
Zest 1 Lemon (In Strips)
Zest 1/2 Grapefruit (In Strips)
6 Tbsp Sugar
3 Tbsp Water
1) Melt the butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil in a casserole dish on the stovetop over a medium heat. Brown the pork well on all sides.
2) Add the milk to the dish along with the zest, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cloves and a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil then half cover the dish with a lid. Simmer for an hour and a half.
3) Near to the end of cooking, make the caramel sauce. Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan and place over a high heat. Bring to a dark caramel. Remove from the heat and add 1 tbsp of the cooking liquor (avoiding the zest and spices) – allow to bubble up. Add a ladleful of the milk and after it has bubbled up, add another ladleful. Return to a medium heat and reduce for 5 minutes.
4) Transfer the sauce to a blender and blitz until smooth. Return to the saucepan, season with sea salt and keep warm.
5) Once the pork is ready turn off the heat and allow to rest for 10/15 minutes. Remove from the dish and carve. Serve with the caramel sauce.
I love Claudia Roden. I have her The Food of Spain book, but I don’t have her Mediterranean classic.This is such a puzzling dish from her having Sefardic Jewish roots in Spain. It breaks almost every Jewish dietary law, and yet I love that she embraces it. Thanks for sharing!