BRINED PORK ROAST

Including Basic Recipe for Brine for Pork

2 quarts, water [or substitute apple juice]
1/3 cup, kosher (coarse grain) salt
1/4 cup, granulated sugar [or substitute brown sugar]
1 teaspoon, thyme
3 bay leaves
5 whole cloves
10 juniper berries - crushed (optional)
1 teaspoon, anise seed
1 teaspoon, black peppercorns - crushed
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

To Brine the Pork; Immerse pork roast of your choice in the cooled brine mixture, and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight (up to 24 hours) turning occasionally if necessary for even brining.

To Roast the Pork: Remove roast from brine, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels, and roast (on a rack or grill pan) according to your favorite recipe until a thermometer, inserted in the center of the roast, reads 155 degrees. Allow the roast to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

(Roast may be coated with mustard, breadcrumbs or glaze of your choice before or during roasting, if desired.)

NOTE: Smaller cuts of pork, such as pork tenderloins, may also be brined in this way - but should be immersed in the brine solution for proportionately less time, to avoid over-salting.


COOK'S NOTE ABOUT SALT: Brining is not a marinade. It is a technique that is designed to make the roast more juicy, by making possible the accumulation of juices within the meat during cooking. The proportion of salt to water must be 1/3 to 1/2 cup per each 2 quarts of liquid (or 2/3 to 1 cup of salt per gallon), in order for this transformation to occur. The sugar balances the flavors; the herbs and spices have only a very subtle impact on the flavor of the finished dish.