Brining Tenderloin Pork ???
- nlk Feb 22, 2005 11:11 PM
I have a center-cut pork loin and am interested in brining it prior to cooking. Does it really make the pork more tender? Would love to get any tried and true recipes for brining. Especially someting different, lots of flavor, spices, etc. TIA
Yes, brining does tenderize pork. Porkers these days are much leaner than their ancestors. One cannot use cooking instructions from 50 years ago. The lack of marbling makes pork tough if not prepared correctly.
We have been brining pork chops ever since an article was published on the subject of brining in Cook's Illustrated, November & December 2001 issue. The brining solution consists of the following.
1 quart of water
2 Tablespoons of sugar
3 Tablespoons of Kosher (yes, Kosher) salt
Prepare the solution well in advance of brining. The above amounts are for one pound of meat, not to exceed 2 gallons of brine. Brine for an hour per pound of meat. Brine for no less than 30 minutes or more than 8 hours.
I agree about the tenderloin vs. loin issue - but that said: the first time I brined a loin the angels began to sing and the skies opened.
I used kosher Salt, brown sugar, several garlic cloves sorta smashed open, a few of peppercorns, a some rosemary. Once you get the salt and sugar in - you can pretty much add anything you want: ginger, onion, bay leaf, any other herbs - have some fun!!
Be sure not to salt the loin AFTER brining - it would come out to salty. I sear it and then roast it after brining.
Actually my favorite is a quick sear in a large skillet, then remove the loin - add real maple syrup, and fresh rosemary and let it simmer until the rosemary is fragrant. Add the loin back in to coat and then roast in the skillet until done (careful not to overcook, I HAVE to use a thermometer). With the brined yummy loin with hints of garlic and salt and pepper and the sweet coating - my family went cray for it.