Recipe: Maple-and-Herb-Brined Pork Roast
Makes 6 servings: Brine 3/4 cup pure maple syrup, 1 cup water, 4 teaspoons salt, 4 sprigs (4 inches each) fresh rosemary, 2 sprigs (4 inches each...
Makes 6 servings
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup water
4 teaspoons salt
4 sprigs (4 inches each) fresh rosemary
2 sprigs (4 inches each) fresh sage
6 sprigs (3 inches each) fresh thyme4 fresh bay leaves, or 2 dried
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seed, or 1 teaspoon dried yellow mustard
1 (3-pound) boneless pork loin roast
Freshly ground black pepper
Optional: 3 to 5 branches of rosemary, sage or bay leaves (8 inches each)
¾ cup white wine, such as Riesling or Chardonnay
1. Making the brine. Bring the maple syrup, water and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the herbs and mustard, cover and let steep off the heat for 10 minutes. Pour the brine into a large measuring cup and add enough ice cubes to make 2 cups, and be sure the brine is cold before pouring it over the meat.
2. Brining the pork. If your roast consists of 2 pieces of loin tied together, cut the string and separate the pieces. Put the pork in a container in which it will fit snugly but comfortably, and pour in the cold brine. The liquid should just cover the meat. If it doesn't, add more water to cover the meat. Cover container and refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours.
3. Roasting. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the pork from the brine and discard the brine. Rinse the pork under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. If the pork is in 2 pieces, you can tie them back together as they were or keep them separated. Season the outside of the pork generously with pepper.
4. Put the optional whole herb branches in the bottom of a small roasting pan or shallow baking dish and set the pork on top. If herb branches are not available, set the meat directly in the pan. Pour the wine into the pan. Roast the pork for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast registers 145 to 150 degrees. Be sure to take reading in more than one place in the roast. If the roast is untied, it will take 30 to 60 minutes after oven temperature is lowered. If the roast is two pieces tied together, it will take 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5. Serving. Transfer the roast to a platter and let it rest for 10 minutes. Remove the herb branches and pour the jus that formed in the bottom of the pan into a sauceboat; skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Taste for seasoning and serve au jus separately. Slice the roast and serve.
From "The Herbfarm Cookbook" by Jerry Traunfeld
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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