Thursday, April 24, 2014

Maple Brine Tastes Mighty Fine

I sometimes buy those pre-marinated pork tenderloins for weeknight convenience. But sometimes they can be kind of salty and/or have weird flavors. So this time around, I bought a plain tenderloin, and sought out some sort of fabulous brine and/or marinade to make it yummy.

A quick search of the interwebs yielded a maple brine that sounded wonderful. And indeed, it yielded meat that was juicy and flavorful, but not too salty. I liked the result so much, that I well may use it again in the future for not only tenderloins, but pork chops, too. I brined the tenderloin during the day while I was at work, roasted it when I got home, and served it with a nice garlic and ginger chutney. DELISH!

Maple-Brined Pork Loin
(Source: All Recipes)

1 quart cold water
1/4 cup salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (2 1/2 pound) boneless pork loin roast
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1. Mix water, salt, 1/3 cup maple syrup, garlic, ginger, rosemary, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Place pork loin in brine mixture and refrigerate for 8 to 10 hours.
2. Remove pork from brine, pat dry, and season all sides with salt and black pepper.
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
4. Heat vegetable oil in an oven-proof skillet over high heat. Cook pork, turning to brown each side, about 10 minutes total.
5. Transfer skillet to the oven and roast until pork is browned, about 40 minutes.
6. Mix 2 tablespoons maple syrup and Dijon mustard together in a small bowl.
7. Remove pork roast from the oven and spread maple syrup mixture on all sides. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, until the pork is no longer pink in the center. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

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