1. Can I apply a rub like a Jerk or cajun rub on my meat after brining and rinsing?
2. Can / Should I brine meat that I am going to stew or braise?
3. If I am using an acidic base like orange juice as a brine, by how much would you advise me to reduce the general brining time?
I'm no expert, but I would think that brining prior to stewing or braising is redundant. Especially the braising - the technique is designed to keep meat tender and moist because you braise for a long period of time after searing the meat that is either dredged in flour or not... Why would you want to do both? -just curiosity asking...
re: Tela T.
actually I think I recently read somewhere that it is a good idea to brine certain cuts when you braise. Some cuts dry out even when braising. Pork roasts and some cuts of beef come to mind.
unfortunately I don't recall where I read this, but would have been a respectable cooking publication or the weekly food section of the paper (NYT or Washington Post for me). Cook's Illustrated is a bet.
I'm referring only to salt-based brines, including those with sugar. I can't comment on acid-based brines.
If you're worried about acidic brines, add a couple of teaspoons of baking soda to the mix, to bring down the acidity level.
This works well when wanting to brine/marinade for long periods of time, without having to worry about the acid "cooking" the meat!
I think almost all pork I cook these days has seen some sort of brine for a few days before getting heat placed upon it. Chops, ribs, roasts, etc... I find it giving lots of good flavor, and of course, moisture!
You might try adding your jerk or cajun seasoning TO the brine... no need to rinse... just pat dry and off into the searing heat!
(Of course, this is only one idea... but I haven't had any complaints yet... and turned more then a few people ON to pork chops... that previously thought of them as dry, tasteless, pieces of meat. Before mine, of course!)