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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cider-Brined Pork Loin



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Early last week, I did a test run of the recipe I developed for the cider-brined pork that I'll be serving on Thanksgiving Day. It turned out well and I thought you might like to see the results. I know that most of you firmed up your holiday menus weeks ago, but I thought you might want to keep this mildly flavored roast in mind for other occasions. It is really easy to do and I think you'll be pleased with the results. While the recipe is straightforward, some things should probably be explained. I tie the boneless pork roast into a compact cylinder to assure even cooking and add a bit of eye appeal to its final presentation. When finished, the glazed cylinder is really beautiful to look at and it is really easy to carve. To assure it browns without over cooking, I sear the meat prior to oven-roasting. I use a meat thermometer to assure the meat remains juicy and is still slightly pink when it's served. When the thermometer registers 140 degrees F, I remove the roast from the oven, tent it with foil and allow it to rest for 10 to 20 minutes before serving. The wait time is important because the roast continues to cook while tented and its juices are set into the meat rather than lost on the carving platter. I've kept the recipe deliberately simple, but, if you like, quartered apples and onions can be roasted with the meat and served with it at the table. I'm not fond of the way that looks, so I tend to view their addition as an unnecessary complication. Not so the cider reduction. It contributes greatly to the flavor of the finished dish and assures that every slice of meat is kissed briefly with intense apple flavor. The addition of cornstarch will add sheen to the cider reduction and I recommend using it. While I given a range of time for brining the roast, its flavor is enhanced if it marinates for a full 24 hours. The meat gets mushy if it soaks too much longer than that, so resist the temptation. You also want to make sure that the pork is completely submerged while soaking in the brine. This is a lovely roast and it's perfect for those occasions when you want subtle flavors. It pairs beautifully with the apple stuffing that was featured earlier this week. I do hope you'll try this. Here's the recipe.

Cider-Brined Pork Loin...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
Brine
5 cups apple cider, divided use
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
3 fresh bay leaves torn into pieces
5 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Cider Reduction
2 cups apple cider
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
Meat
1 (4 pound) center-cut boneless pork loin roast
3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
1) To make brine: In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups cider, salt, brown sugar, bay leaves , cloves and peppercorns to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in 3 cups each water and cider and cool to room temperature.
2) Using kitchen twine, tie pork loin at 1-inch intervals to form a cylinder of uniform circumference. Place pork loin in a 2-gallon resealable plastic bag and pour in cooled cider solution. Allow meat to brine, refrigerated, for at least 8 to 24 hours.
3) Preheat conventional oven to 325 degrees F. If using a convection oven preheat to 300 degrees F.
4) To make cider reduction: Bring 2 cups cider to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until cider has thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup (about 15 minutes). If using cornstarch, add and stir until reduction is glossy. Set aside.
5) Remove pork from brine. Rinse and pat dry. Cut small slits in surface of meat and insert garlic slices. Season meat with rosemary, sage, salt and black pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy ovenproof skillet until oil begins to shimmer. Add pork; sear well, about 5 minutes per side, using tongs to roll meat until all surfaces are brown. Brush with cider reduction. Transfer skillet to oven and roast for 15 minutes. Brush again with cider reduction and roast for 20 minutes longer, or until pork reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F. Remove from oven. Remove twine and brush again with cider reduction. Tent with foil; let sit for 10 to 20 minutes minutes before slicing. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.








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37 comments :

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Brined meats are always so much more tender, but with cider and those spices, this has got to be so flavorful. I'll be trying this one for sure.

Pondside said...

I haven't tried to bring pork, but we like to have a pork loin at some point in the Christmas holidays, so I'll probably give it a try. I'll already have most everything on hand for brining the turkey.

kitchen flavours said...

My son is next to me, and he comments that your pic is making him hungry! :o) Haha! It's true, looks so delicious! Have a lovely day, Mary!

A Bitchin' Kitchen said...

This looks delicious, and sounds like a nice alternative to the traditional turkey!

- Maggie

StephenC said...

What do you think of cider that has hardened a bit (although it's difficult to find cider that has not been pasteurized)?

LV said...

Mary, this looks so good! Brining definitely produces a very flavorful meat.

http://foodfashionandflow.blogspot.com/

That Girl said...

This is actually perfect for when we're all turkeyed out next week!

Top Cuisine avec Lavi said...

Amazing! Have a nice evening!

Lenia said...

It looks superb!!!Have a great week,dear Mary!

Valerie said...

Gorgeous presentation! I love the idea of using cider in the brine!

Claudia said...

This is a beauty and while I firmed up my Thanksgiving dinner ... yesterday.... I think it was in my marriage vows that I would serve turkey on Thanksgiving. But the beauty of the holidays is there is call every week to prepare a festive dinner and on a special Sunday in December this will be served.

Otehlia said...

I am a cider fiend these days. Great idea!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Looks downright succulent, Mary! Great recipe - thanks!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

It sounds amazing and looks very pretty Mary-enjoy:@)

June said...

It's absolutely beautiful Mary and I can't wait to try it. Pork is just so lean these days that brining is really the answer for a more tender and flavorful roast. I also know that anything you've created is going to be extra good, and for that, my thanks!

Manuela © said...

Your meat looks delicious! :)

ButterYum said...

Greetings to you Miss Mary. I love roasting pork loins and look forward to trying your recipe. Lovely photo. Thanks for sharing.

:)
ButterYum

Ginny said...

It looks wonderful! I'm off the computer for three days, see you on Thursday. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Mary!!! I hope you will have help cooking!

Joanne said...

It may be a bit late for Thanksgiving, but this would be perfect on Christmas!

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Mary.

Fondly,
Glenda

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Sounds like a wonderful new way to try pork loin in our house! Thank you, Mary! blessings ~ tanna

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Happy Thanksgiving Mary Sweetie...
I had to pop over and wish you and your family a beautiful, blessed holiday.

So thrilled to see this wonderful recipe. You never disappoint, as there is always a gorgeous share each time I pop over. Thank you for sharing sweet friend.

Have a glorious Thanksgiving, with many memories for years to come. Many hugs and much love, Sherry

teresa said...

oh i just love pork. the flavoring looks wonderful!

Monet said...

I'm usually not one to get excited about pork, but this recipe looks like a winner. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe, my friend. No better way to end my weekend. I hope you have a week full of family and feasting. Blessings from Austin!

David said...

Mary, I've heard of brined turkey but not brined pork roast. I would imagine that it not only adds flavor, but it must also help keep the roast moist. Of course the temperature is key to keeping it moist as well. Back in the day, my mother was convinced that my wife-to-be was going to kill me by serving a pork roast with a little pink in the middle! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Jeannie said...

Lunchtime now and I am drooling over that pork photo, making me even more hungry!

Chiara said...

This looks delicious Mary , I love pork loin in any way...Thanks for sharing, have a good week...

Deb in Hawaii said...

Such a gorgeous pork loin--it is picture-perfect and looks delicious.
;-)

Jenn said...

I have become a huge advocate of brining, especially pork. Will have to give this cider-brine a try for sure!

Susan Lindquist said...

This is very much like the brine I will be using on our Thanksgiving turkey ... I have never brined meat before, so this is a grand experiment ... your looks so moist, so you've given me encouragement, Mary! Thank you!

France@beyondthepeel said...

It's almost embarrassing to admit I've never brined, but it's true. The shame! I really need to make this...

Silver Strands said...

Wow - looks great. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Becki's Whole Life said...

The brine for this sounds wonderful with the spices and the cider. Your presentation looks wonderful and the meat looks nice and juicy and perfectly cooked. Love how a brined roast turns out.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to thank you for posting this recipe, it is SO delicious! It's my first time to brine, and it really transformed the pork roast- so favourful and delicious, I won't be making it without brining first anymore!
What an excellent recipe!!

Nik said...

I made this today, and it was phenomenal. Great recipe!

sapat Pat said...

Made this today and it was amazing. Juicy, flavorful and a bit of spice from the extra black pepper we like on the fat cap. I let it brine for nearly 24 hr in apple juice instead of apple cider because we can't get cider here in our area except in the winter. I threw in some little baby red potatoes, carrot chunks and onion wedges as well to cook with the roast. All of it was very flavorful and we have a bunch left over for several roast pork sammies (good with onion, mayo and black pepper on fresh bread) and even another hot meal as well. Highly recommended.

Lindsey said...

I really need to try this sometime! Looks tasty!

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