Spiced Brine for Pork Loin Roast
Pork can sometimes be a dry meat which is why I normally use a shoulder joint and slow roast it but a pork lion can be just as juicy if you soak it in Spiced Brine for Pork Loin Roast for up to 24hrs before cooking. The solution below imparts a wonderful lightly spiced flavour to any pork joint and the sugar helps create a perfect crackling every time.
1 Pork leg for roasting (ask the butcher, you want the nice fat/skin layer on the top as well to make lovely crackling!) – Score the skin and roll and tie to make it even thickness.
1 ½ litres water
½ litre apple Juice (chilled)
200g Dark Brown Sugar (muscovado)
4 Bay leaves
Small handful of peppercorns
10 juniper berries, crushed
2 star anise
20 whole cloves
½ stick cinnamon
Dissolve the brown sugar and salt in the water and bring to a boil.
Add the rest of the brine ingredients apart from the apple juice.
Simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
Cool completely (add the apple juice now to speed things up) to room temperature.
Transfer the brine solution to a large pan and add the pork roast to the brine solution and make sure it covers the meat completely.
Place the pan into a refrigerator overnight (up to 24 hours.)
Take your joint out of the fridge – discard the brine solution and spices – and wash the meat 2-3 times and pat dry). Massage some olive oil and rock salt over the skin – place into a roasting pan on a mixed bed of trimmed leeks / carrots / celery sticks / onions (toss the veg in a little olive oil first). This creates a trivet and keeps the meat off the bottom of the pan so it should be able to roast all the way round. (You want to do this about 30-40 minutes before cooking to bring the meat up to room temperature to ensure an even cook)
Roast for the initial 10 minutes in a hot oven (220°C) to cause the fat to begin to bubble out and crisp the rind then lower the oven temperature to moderate for the rest of cooking time – 170°C fan oven or 180°C) and allow 35 min / 500g plus 35 min and rest for 10-15 min. Don’t forget to baste the meat every 20-30 mins – add a little water to the roasting tin if the veg starts to blacken!
You might need to cover the crackling with tin-foil to stop the sugars from the brine mix/apple juice burning but note you will get a much darker crackling because of the sugars. I usually cover the meat for the middle third of the roasting time.
Deglaze the pan with pint water to lift all the juices and strain to a clean pan – discard the veg – add any juice from carving, bubble down and thicken with a little corn flour, add a splash of apple juice and calvados – adjust seasoning to taste to make lovely quick gravy. Or if you have the time you can make my Champagne and Calvados sauce
(forgot to take a photo so will try to remember next time!) (remembered!!)