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5 from 2 votes

Maiale al latte (pork in milk)

Pork shoulder braised in milk, wine, lemon, garlic and herbs.  Makes the perfect hearty dish for a Sunday dinner.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 12


  • 1 5 pound pork shoulder
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 large lemons
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 15 sage leaves
  • 1/2 tsp crushed chili flakes
  • 4 large leeks


  • Rough chop garlic.  Remove the lemon peel with a vegetable peeler.  Dry pat and season the pork shoulder aggressively with salt and pepper (about 1 Tbsp kosher salt and 1 tsp black pepper) on all sides.
  • Preheat oven to 325f and place rack in the middle.  Heat a large heavy pot to medium-high heat and add 2 Tbsp of olive oil.  Sear the pork shoulder on all sides until fully browned (about 20-30 minutes). 
  • After shoulder is well browned, remove and set aside.  Remove the pork fat from the pot by draining or with paper towels.  Turn heat to medium and add the butter, garlic, lemon peel, sage, bay leaves and chili flakes.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the wine and cook for 3-5 minutes more.  Scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to remove all the good flavor bits.
  • Add the milk to the pot and stir it all together.  Place the pork shoulder back in the pot and cover.  Place in the oven and set timer for 2 hours.  Turn the pork over at 1 hour mark to achieve more even cooking.  After 2 hours, crack the lid and continue to cook until the pork shoulder achieves a 190f internal temperature.
  • When 190f has been achieved remove the shoulder and set aside lightly covered with foil.  If using the leeks add to the pot and cook for 10-15 minutes until soft.  Taste test the sauce and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.  Slice the pork and serve with the milk sauce on top.  Enjoy!


  • If the sauce is too thin before serving, remove the pork and either cook it for 20-30 minutes longer on the stove top or add a slurry of cornstarch to thicken.
  • Salt and pepper was initially used on the shoulder prior to searing, but no other salt was added to the dish.  Adjust accordingly by taste testing the sauce right before serving and making final adjustments.
  • For any other pork cut, cook to an internal temperature of 145f.  For the shoulder, 190f is the goal.
  • Serve with crusty Italian bread for the sauce.
  • Leeks are optional. 


Calories: 669kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.2g | Protein: 47.3g | Fat: 48.8g | Saturated Fat: 18.6g | Cholesterol: 187mg | Sodium: 782mg | Potassium: 735mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 4.9g | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 3.2mg