A dear friend first passed this treasure of a recipe along to me, one of the only good things to come out of a particularly bad boyfriend on her part. I have since discovered that there are as many variations on this recipe as there are food bloggers. People attack this different ways, sometimes adding herbs, garlic, onions, and more.
For our tastes, though, you truly can't beat the sauce that the very few ingredients makes--as my more poetic friend said, "If golden brown was a taste, this would be it."
I've given the same treatment to pork chops, but a nice pork tenderloin really works best in this situation. You can do two tenderloins in the same pan, if you have a larger crowd to feed.
1 Tbsp butter
freshly ground pepper
1 medium pork tenderloin
.5 gallon of 2% milk*
*Traditionally this is made with whole milk, but I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror every day, and 2% works just fine.
Sprinkle tenderloin generously with salt and pepper. Heat butter and a drizzle of olive oil in a heavy saute pan with a lid. In the past I have always used my trusty All-Clad pan, but this time I used my new Calphalon non-stick skillet and the clean-up was so, SO much easier.
Brown the pork very well on all sides in the hot oil. Once finished browning, add milk to the pan until nearly covering the meat, reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove lid, raise heat to medium, until milk starts to boil around the meat. This is where vigilance is important--boil the milk down until it resembles soft, light golden curds, turning the tenderloin over occasionally. This can take over half and hour, I usually take a chair and a book into the kitchen, because you do NOT want to scorch the milk.
Once the milk has boiled down, add more milk to almost cover the pork, and cook down again. At this point it should be smelling incredibly good and the pork should be quite tender. Once the milk has boiled down to a thick, golden brown sauce, remove meat. Slice thinly and generously spoon the sauce over the top. This is a rich dish, best paired with lightly steamed vegetables to cut some of the heaviness.
This is one of the top 5 things Chris requests again and again, and aside from the time (it should take upwards of two hours total or you're cooking with too much heat), it is incredibly simple.