Today's column features milks sold here in suburban St. Louis, all from small-farm dairies. With increasing interest in local, organic and especially grass-fed dairy products, watch the dairy section in your own markets for special treats like these from your own area.
First published in 2008, republished online in 2012, with recipe and photo updates. Enjoy!
When I was a kid, the neighbors kept a cow. Her milk, still warm and thick from the udder, was, ewww, undrinkable. But since discovering new milks in our local stores, milk has become the ‘house drink’, in wine glasses no less.
Straubs carries bottles from Heartland Creamery, a cow and goat farm in northeast Missouri. Many local stores carry Oberweis milk and home delivery, a convenience for 80 years, is available too. My favorite milk is found at Dierbergs. Kalona Supernatural (formerly Farmers’ All Natural Creamery) milk comes from grass-fed cows on Amish and Mennonite organic farms in central Iowa. The milk is unhomogenized so requires a good shake to distribute the milk fat. Best of all, the flavor is creamy, delicate and delicious. These milks are pricey but worth a sample sip.
SPICED TUSCAN SALT Add an extra flavor dimension to roast pork with a spice blend from Webster Groves cook Karen Tedesco, author of the food blog FamilyStyle Food. It calls for 4 parts kosher salt and peppercorns; 2 parts fennel seed & coriander seed; 1 part turbinado sugar, red pepper flakes and dried lemon peel. In a mini food processor, grind all except the salt and sugar, then combine.
MILK-BRAISED PORK ROAST
Time-to-table: 3 - 8 hours
- 1 – 2 tablespoons fat (bacon grease is great, vegetable oil is fine)
- 4 – 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 – 4 pound pork roast (allow about 6 ounces uncooked bone-in, fat-on meat to yield a three-ounce cooked serving)
- Spiced Tuscan Salt or salt & pepper
- 2 cups whole milk
- Sprig of fresh rosemary, optional
Preheat oven to 300F.
On medium high, warm fat in a Dutch oven til shimmery. Meanwhile, slice off any thick layers of fat from the roast. Pat it dry, rub with Spiced Tuscan Salt or salt and pepper. Add garlic and meat, brown meat on all sides til slightly crispy. Add milk and rosemary.
Cover and place in oven. For just-done slicing, cook until meat reaches an internal temperature of 150F, about 1-1/4-1-1/2 hours, turning halfway through; for fall-off-the-bone tenderness, cook 2-3 hours in the oven or on medium heat in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours.
Lift meat out, transfer to cutting board, cover and let rest.
To make a milky gravy, transfer half of hot milk to a blender. Holding top very tightly, whiz til smooth, then repeat with remaining milk. Slice meat and serve with small individual bowls of liquid for dipping. For a thicker milk gravy, mix 1/4 cup of milk mixture with 2 tablespoons flour til smooth. Stir slowly into remaining milk mixture and cook, stirring often, til thick.
Otherwise, just serve the milky liquid in small ramekins placed on individual plates. It's not pretty but so delicious for dipping!
More About These Dairies
Heartland Creamery | Based in Newark, Missouri in northeast Missouri. Not organic but uses no rBGH/rBST artificial growth hormones. Glass bottles. In St. Louis, available at Straubs and Whole Foods. Single-family farm with 6000 cows and 750 goats. Profits support Heartland Ministries, farm for troubled adolescents and adults.
Oberweis Dairy | Based in North Aurora, Illinois. Milk comes from small- to medium-sized independent family farmers (producers) who work exclusively for Oberweis Dairy. The average herd size is about 80 cows. The milk is not organic but contains no rBGH artificial growth hormones. Glass bottles. In St. Louis, available at most grocery stores, home delivery also offered.
Make It a Meal
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