Please click on the image to see enlarged version of the finished recipe.
This is my take on the Italian classic Maiale al Latte – lamb braised in milk. It is not often served in England – which is a pity because it is delicious.  Served as the Italians do, with the milk curds separated out, it doesn’t look particularly appetising – though the curds have a wonderful flavour.   If you want a more sophisticated (though less traditional) presentation, the sauce can be whizzed in a liquidiser to produce an equally delicious smooth cream.
Fettuccine with herbs and a fennel and pomegranate salad make excellent accompaniments.  For the fettuccine, cook in plenty of well-salted water in the normal way.  As soon as you have strained the pasta, add a slug of good quality olive oil and, if you can get it, some finely shredded wild garlic – it will wilt in the heat of the fettuccine.  Test if it needs more salt and add a few grinds of black pepper and a good handful of finely chopped parsley, tarragon and chives. 
The salad is just very finely sliced fennel with a good sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and a French dressing made from lemon juice and olive oil.  At this time of year, it looks marvellous sprinkled with a mixture of herb flowers – rosemary, thyme and wild garlic look pretty.   
The quantities given are for a whole leg of Middle White which will serve 12people.  If you are using just the shank end, reduce the quantities of the other ingredients and the cooking time by about a third.


  • 1 leg Middle White pork
  • 2l full fat milk
  • 5 fat cloves of garlic, each sliced into two or three pieces
  • 4 sprigs rosemary plus extra for serving
  • Juice of 2 lemons and grated zest of 3
  • Tiny quantity of olive oil for brushing
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 220 ℃.  Dry the meat very thoroughly with kitchen paper, brush it lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Put the herbs and the garlic in a deep sided roasting tin that will take the meat reasonably snugly. Lay the meat on top of the herbs and pour the milk round it (not over it at this stage).  Add the juice of one lemon and the grated zest of two to the milk. 
  • After half an hour, turn the oven down to 190℃ – but keep a watch to make sure the crackling doesn’t burn.  After a further half hour, the crackling should be beginning to brown nicely.  Baste with the milk and do so again after one and a half hour’s cooking.  After 2hours, the crackling should be nicely brown and the meat still just pink in the middle – it is important not to overcook Middle White. 
  • Remove the meat to a serving dish and survey the rather unpromising-looking curds.  If they are still very liquid, boil them down a bit on the top of the stove: you are aiming for a consistency which the Italians call ‘marmellata’ – jam.  When the sauce has reached that point, remove the herbs and add the remaining lemon juice and zest.  Give a few grinds of black pepper. 
    Taste for salt.  You can then either carve the meat, add fresh herbs to the curds and spoon them round the meat or process the curds brieflyin a liquidiser to produce a smooth, creamy sauce which you can serve in a sauce boat.