Chef John's Pork al Latte


When the weather gets a little colder, this pork al latte really hits the spot. Pork shoulder meat is braised in a crème fraîche sauce until amazingly tender and delicious. Serve on polenta with crisp sage leaves for garnish.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr 35 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 50 mins


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 slices bacon, coarsely chopped

  • 1 ½ pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch chunks

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 1 ¼ cups chicken broth

  • ½ cup creme fraiche

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves

  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 15 whole fresh sage leaves


  1. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a skillet, place over medium heat, and cook bacon, stirring often, until crisp and bacon fat has rendered into the skillet, about 5 minutes.

  2. Season pork cubes generously with salt and black pepper. Remove bacon from pan and set aside, reserving fat in pan. Turn heat to medium-high and brown pork pieces in bacon drippings until well browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer meat to a bowl, leaving pan drippings in skillet.

  3. Turn heat to medium and stir in chopped onion and a pinch of salt. Cook and stir onion until translucent and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir garlic into onion and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  4. Pour chicken broth and crème fraîche into onion mixture; whisk until smooth. Scrape up and dissolve any browned bits of food on the bottom of the skillet. Bring mixture to a simmer.

  5. Return bacon to sauce and stir in 2 tablespoons chopped sage. Place pork pieces into simmering sauce along with any accumulated juices from the meat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until meat is almost tender, about 1 hour.

  6. Raise heat to medium and cook uncovered until pan sauce reduces and thickens and meat is very tender, about 20 more minutes. Stir red pepper flakes into sauce; adjust seasonings to taste.

  7. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat; drop whole sage leaves into hot oil and cook, lightly tossing leaves in oil, until crisp, 10 to 15 seconds. Drain sage leaves on paper towels and crumble over pork.

Chef's Note:

Serve this with Chef John's Perfect Polenta. It's great as a base for all kinds of saucy meats and stews.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

514 Calories
46g Fat
5g Carbs
21g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 514
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 46g 59%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 114mg 38%
Sodium 569mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 324mg 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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