Braised Chuck Roast in Milk Gravy

This recipe was featured in the New York Times and was inspired by the late Italian chef, Marcella Hazen. A classic Italian dish called “Maiale al Latte” (braised in milk). Although I could imagine the flavors, the appearance is less than appetizing as the milk curdles as it cooks. In today’s world with modern appliances, I knew that could be rectified. My modifications will give you a nice silky milk gravy that you will want to pour on just about everything! You can find the NYT recipe here.

Buffalo Chuck Roast Braised in MilkIngredients: (serves 8)

  • 3 - pound Wild Idea Buffalo Chuck Roast, netting removed, rinsed & patted dry
  • 1 - tablespoon salt
  • 4 - tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 - leeks, halved lengthwise & thinly sliced (white & light green parts only) 
  • 10 - garlic cloves, smashed & peeled
  • 1 - tablespoon black pepper
  • 4 - sprigs fresh thyme 
  • 4 - sprigs fresh sage 
  • 2 - sprigs fresh rosemary 
  • 5 - cups whole milk 
  • 3 - strips of fresh lemon zest, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • Asparagus and Peas


    1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. Cut Chuck Roast into 8 pieces and season with the salt.
    3. In a heavy pot, over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Swirl the pan to coat and add 4 pieces of the roast, snugging the pieces up to the edges of the pan. Brown, turning once, then remove pieces and place in a deep side baking dish. Repeat with the remaining oil and meat.
    4. Add the onions, garlic & black pepper to the pot and stir, scrapping up the bits from the bottom.
    5. Add the fresh herbs and the milk and bring to a light boil, stirring occasionally.
    6. Pour the hot milk mixture over the meat, add lemon peel and cover the baking dish tightly with either a lid or foil.
    7. Place in the hot oven and braise for 2.5 hours.
    8. Remove from the oven and turn the meat so that the top is now emersed in the curdled milk. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
    9. Remove roast pieces from the milk and transfer to a bowl. Cover.
    10. Drag a slotted or holed spoon through the milk a few times, removing the fresh herb sticks from the milk. Pour the milk back into the heavy pot you started with and place over medium high heat. Bring the milk to a low boil and stir occasionally for about 20 minutes. This will caramelize the milk a bit as well as reduce it.
    11. When the caramelized color you would like is achieved, pour the hot milk, with the onions, garlic & herbs leaves into a blender. Cover but leave the top spout open, but covered with a thin dish towel. This will allow the heat to escape when blending. Pulse blend (start/stop) until you have a smooth gravy.
    12. Cut the 8 pieces of braised meat in half and place in a deep/sided serving dish. Place steamed asparagus and peas around the edges and pour the hot gravy over the top.
    13. Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh herbs. Serve immediately and accompany with crusty bread.

      This can be served over pasta or mashed potatoes too for heartier appetites. You will also have leftover gravy, but as mentioned it’s so good you will find other uses for it. Maybe try on an Open-Faced Hot Hamburger Sandwich…

      Photo Credit: Jill O'Brien

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