It’s funny how people think pork is dry. It just needs a little extra time and love. I’ve made several pork dishes from Alton Brown’s collection, Epicurious and Cook’s Illustrated and have learned how important it is to brine pork. Don’t skip this step! After brining the roast for 24 hours, I prepared a fruit-based filling with leftover dried fruit from the pantry. Next time I think I’ll try adding cashews.
- 8 cups water
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 3 sprigs fresh sage
- 1 large garlic clove, smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (4- to 4 1/2-lb) boneless pork loin roast, trimmed
Combine all ingredients except roast in a large pot; bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the salt is dissolved. Cool completely, then immerse roast in brine and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
- 1/3 cup chopped dried figs
- 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/4 cup chopped dried bing cherries (optional)
- 1/4 cup carmelized onions
- 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1 garlic clove, diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- pinch ground cumin
- pinch ground coriander
- pinch ground cinnamon
Remove the roast from the brine, and rinse thoroughly; pat dry; butterfly (check out this YouTube if you need a refresher on how to butterfly a roast). Sprinkle flattened roast with salt and pepper. Combine remaining filling ingredients, then spread over the roast.
Roll tightly in the shape of a log, then use kitchen string to tie together in 2″ intervals. Place in a roasting pan, and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1/4 hours, until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove from oven, and tent with foil for 5 minutes. Slice, and serve!