With this Cider Brined Pork Roast you won't have to worry about a naked pork roast turned dry and stringy and flavorless (as can happen so easily)!
Lean pork can be quite dry but the cider brine makes this so moist even the leftovers are juicy and tender. I have to thank my sister-in-law for sending me this recipe. Connie is one of the best cooks I know so I always look forward to her meals and recipes!
The first time I met her I remember being totally blown away because she was peeling the tough skin off the broccoli stems. I had never heard of that before! Well that quickly progressed to veggie platters where the carrots were all cut like flowers - another wow moment. Oh - and let's not forget the Thanksgiving turkey that had a pastry tuxedo complete with buttons, coloring etc.
And it only went up from there. Connie's passion is cooking , so much so that, in her spare time, she worked with Gale Gand as an apprentice baker at Elawa. Elawa is a historic not for profit farm in the northeast of Chicago, where they baked each week for the Saturday market. She actually has a recipe featured in Gale Gands Cookbook Gale Gand's Lunch. (Read - I am in awe!)
Connie has also served as sous chef for the Hearty Boys and as part of their catering team and billeted students from Lemondier cooking school in Anguleime, France while they studied at Elgin Community college in exchange programs. As part of that experience she was privileged to lead the dessert team under Chef Patrick Guat, a distinguished chef and disciple of Lescoffier, of France as part of a five - course meal fund-raiser for 200 people.
So... you can bet I whipped this recipe up as soon as I could after she shared it with me. Connie served it as a New Year's meal so her meal was far more elegant than the one I made. She used a rack of pork which would have made a very elegant presentation sliced and plated with the bones cross-wise. Her side potatoes involved a lot of leeks, celeriac and cream - emphasis on lots!
I happened to have a large pork loin roast in the freezer and the cider and all the other ingredients for the roast so I made that. The sides will be a treat for another day!
The only other change I made was I added brandy to the apple cider reduction. Cider reduction becomes very sweet, which in this case is balanced nicely by the spiciness of the pork brine and rub. But it just felt right when I was making it! Switching up the roast was out of necessity!
I have written the recipe in its original form and noted my little brandy adventure as a variation!
This roast is so flavorful you could serve a red or a white wine with it. The cumin is the over-riding flavor for me so I served it with a French Bordeaux but any full-bodied red would stand up to it. A Rioja or Zinfandel would be fun too. For whites a full-bodied Chardonnay would go well with this or even a spicy Gewürztraminer.
- 3 lbs pork rack of pork or pork loin roast
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup coarse kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon whole black pepper corns
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 cups apple cider
- 4 cups apple cider
- ¼ cup sugar
Rub for Roasting
- 2-3 Tbsps Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- Heat the brine ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from heat to cool.
- Place the rack of pork in a bag or container. Pour the cooled brine over it and then top with water as needed to ensure the pork is completely covered. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove the pork and pat it dry. Place it on a baking sheet with low sides and brush the entire rack with Dijon mustard.
- Mix the Rub spices and rub it evenly over the pork.
- Roast approximately 20 minutes per pound until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees internally on instant read thermometer. Brush with glaze and return to oven for 5 minutes more.
- While pork is roasting bring glaze ingredients to a boil and simmer until it is reduced and syrupy.
- Remove from oven and tent loosely with foil for 20-30 minutes. Meat will continue to cook during tenting.
- To serve, carve rack between the bones and arrange on serving platter with bones up, alternating from side to side. Drizzle with more glaze. For loin roast carve and drizzle with more glaze.
- Serve remaining warm glaze on side.