Last week, looking for a meat recipe to enrich with truffles, I went back in memories to a typical Sunday morning of a few years ago… one of the many wintry Sunday mornings spent in San Gimignano, at my grandfather’s house. While my aunt and mom were cooking, I would pick up pine nuts with my cousin Margherita and my grandfather in the local park, or, growing up, we would have our first strolls in town, looked up with caring eyes by all the inhabitants of San Gimignano, leaning out the doors of shops and bars. We were the daughters of the little twins, and therefore recognized by everyone! Pork sirloin cooked in milk was one of the dishes we used to welcome with more joy coming back home. Its softness, its creamy and velvety gravy and the richness that made it a perfect second course to enjoy on cold winter mornings… these are cozy memories I cannot forget!
All in WHITE! You can see in the above picture all the ingredients that make this a special dish: first of all, a good whole milk, then a few cloves of garlic, a good butcher’s twine to tie the pork and white truffles, coming directly from Basilicata. These precious small tubers have reached my kitchen – along with a Matera bread loaf – thanks to Angela and Giuseppe from Sapori dei Sassi, who enjoyed a nice Tuscany tour a few weeks ago. This is how I discovered that Basilicata is a land of truffles… and what truffles! The one in the photo is a prized white truffle (Tuber magnatum Pico) of the same quality as the most famous truffle of Alba.
Pork sirloin with milk and white truffle
- pork sirloin with bone, 1.2 kg
- extra virgin olive oil
- garlic, 2 cloves
- milk, 3 glasses
- cornstarch, 1 teaspoon
- white truffle
- With a sharp knife, remove the bone from the pork loin. Tie securely pork loin in several places with butcher's twine. Rub with salt. Meanwhile, cover with extra virgin olive oil the bottom of a pot (large enough to hold the pork and the bone) and let it warm over low heat with 2 cloves of garlic, to allow them to release their full flavor.
- When the garlic is golden, remove it from the pan and place the pork into the pot. Brown thoroughly each side until golden brown, in order to sear the meat and retain all the juices and flavors inside. Turn the pork with two wooden spatulas, carefully avoiding to prick the loin. Add the bone aside, it will give flavor to the meat and it will be delicious to eat as well!
- Pour the milk over the pork loin: be careful, it will tend to foam and boil over! Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for about 25 minutes, or until the milk will be reduced to 1/3. 30 minutes are enough to throughly cook the pork, leaving it soft and juicy inside.
- Remove the pork from the pot, wrap it in aluminum foil and set it aside. Remove also the bone and set it aside. Let the sauce reduce by adding a teaspoon of cornstarch and stirring constantly with a whisk, until you get a thick and creamy sauce.
- Remove butcher's twine from the roast meat and slices the pork into 5 mm thick slices. Serve the pork with a tablespoon of gravy and shave white truffle over the meat.
Tasting test. Cooking the pork with milk allows the meat to remain soft and full of flavor. I guess it’s an ideal dish for children, so delicate and easy to eat, with a light and reassuring color and a creamy sauce that helps to convince your puppets to eat meat! The truffle rises it to a higher dimension, more adult, more refined, but equally good in its simplicity and its cozy taste of home.