The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Pork with Caramelized Milk Sauce (a.k.a. Fugly Pork)

Well, you can’t win ‘em all.

I try really hard to make sure that anything I cook is visually appealing, even when I’m not posting pictures of it.  However when I started blogging a couple years ago, I didn’t have much experience taking pictures of food.   So anything did presentation-wise was really and exercise in futility as my (lack of) camera skills undermined all my efforts.  For example, one of my first recipes I posted was for braised veal cheeks over creamy polenta.  I was experimenting with braising liquids by using wine in one pot and Belgian beer in the other.

amateur photography


food photography

See what I mean?  In person it was actually really stunning looking. I even put that little swoosh of sauce on purpose.  AND let’s not forget the bread in the background.  But the picture itself really doesn’t do the food any justice.

So I made it a personal mission of mine to lose the title of “the world’s worst Asian photographer.”  I experimented with lighting and different angles.  I even bought a kick-ass camera.  And I think started getting better.   Take a look at this spicy avocado cream soup   I did last year –


Avocado soup

food porn

It’s a beaut, eh?  And that  picture was taken with an iPhone.

But recently, I made something that even Ansel Adams  or Herb Ritts couldn’t help.

I found the recipe in The Gastrokid Cookbook, a terrific one I picked up for a couple bucks when Borders closed.  It has great recipes in it that are meant to foster the next generation of foodies, while keeping their parents happy as well.  So, although it’s kid-centric, there are some very adult-friendly dishes such as salmon saltimbocca, Moroccan chicken, and The Spotted Pig’s Gnudi.

Because everything I’ve tried from the cookbook was a success,  I had no problem taking a flyer on this odd-sounding dish – pork with caramelized milk sauce.  It was really rich and completely delicious, but damn it was FUGLY.  In the description for it, they said “a dish needn’t be pretty to be pretty darned delicious.”  They even said the sauce would be slightly lumpy.  But I think I flat-out made it worse.  As you’ll see later, it’s not just slightly lumpy, it’s like grainy lumpy.  The official term for this is that “the sauce has broken.”

There are ways to fix this, but I was too lazy and the kids were starving.   So I kept it fugly and, thankfully, the kids didn’t care.  I’m definitely going to make this again as it was that tasty and I really recommend you try it, too.  It’s really easy and only takes a few ingredients.  Unless you’re trying to keep Kosher, then you better avoid it.  But I’m sure you knew that…


Pork with Caramelized Milk Sauce

– 1 pork tenderloin

– salt and freshly ground pepper

– 1 Tablespoon butter

– 3 cups milk

1.  Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat

2.  Season the pork on all sides with salt and pepper

Pork in Milk 1

pork recipe

3.  Melt the butter and brown the pork all over.

Pretty, isn't it?

Pretty, isn’t it?

4.  Once browned, add a coup of milk and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer.

5.  After 15 minutes of simmering, add another cup of milk.

6.  After another 15 minutes, add the third cup of milk.

7.  After 45 minutes total cooking time, the pork will be tender and the milk will have reduced to caramelized clumps.  Remove the pork and collect the milk in a serving bowl.  Let the meat stand for 10 minutes, then carve and serve with the milk.

So here’s what it ended up looking like –

Pork in Milk 3

epic fail

See, I wasn’t kidding.

Have you ever made anything that looked like an abomination but was delicious?  Do you bother to try to fix it?  Or do you make like Barry White and just dim the lights super-low?



About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

15 comments on “Pork with Caramelized Milk Sauce (a.k.a. Fugly Pork)

  1. the drunken cyclist
    April 25, 2013

    Yeah, that does not look good. Time to turn the lights down low….

  2. Cara Thereon
    April 25, 2013

    I’m not much of a cook so presentation isn’t that big a deal as long as it smells and tastes good. I can at least manage to make it palatable. That soup looks sexy!

  3. Anka
    April 25, 2013

    I’m wondering if you could make caramelized pork in the crock pot? But, the texture probably wouldn’t be the same. This dish sounds delicious over a bed of white rice.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      April 25, 2013

      I dont think you can do it in a crockpot, but I’ve never used one. Rice would be good. We did a side of broccoli. Really anything simple like that or mashed potatoes because it is so rich.

  4. seasonedwithsarcasm
    April 25, 2013

    The pork looked wonderful…before the lumpy milk sauce! Turn them lights down low folks!
    I’d probably have taken the pork out, scraped as much sauce off as I could, and taken an immersion blender to what was in the pot in the hopes it would break up the lumps or clumps as your recipe states. What matters most though is it tasted good! Did it taste clumpy?

  5. thefoodandwinehedonist
    April 25, 2013

    Yeah, it was grainy. But still tasted great.

  6. Hippie Cahier
    April 25, 2013

    Holy guacamole. I missed the avocado soup the first time around. That looks incredibly delicious.

    Also, you should trademark ‘fugly pork’ and make it a food truck business.

  7. ksbeth
    April 25, 2013

    that is so funny, yet i’m sure it was delicious!

  8. talkavino
    April 26, 2013

    That looks strange. Somehow ( I don’t know why), I don’t like to cook anything with milk or heavy cream involved…

    But that beer braised stuff is great (I actually had beef, not veal), and it was super-delicious.

  9. the winegetter
    April 26, 2013

    The flavors must have been great, though, right? It sounds like an interesting combo…I don’t care much what the food on my plate looks like (hence my complete bafflement by hipsters like you who pull out a camera at all stops), so I just eat what’s on my plate (as a proper German is taught from early childhood).

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      April 26, 2013

      It was great! And I take pictures because I know all four of my followers want to see them.

      • the winegetter
        April 26, 2013

        I bet they flood you in food photo requests…those four. You’re lucky they haven’t found you on Twitter yet…

  10. yoonanimous
    April 27, 2013

    Hilarious. I’d still eat it of course

  11. Anonymous
    April 30, 2013

    Hi, just wanted to mention, I liked this article. It was inspiring. Keep on posting

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This entry was posted on April 25, 2013 by in Cooking and tagged , , , , .
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